Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Standard is out this lunchtime, with topline figures of CON 32%(+1), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2), GRN 8%(nc). No significant change on a month ago, though the UKIP decline from their immediate post-European election bounce is in line with other companies. Full details here.

The vast majority of the poll was conducted prior to the reshuffle, so please don’t read any “reshuffle effect” or lack of one. I wouldn’t expect any reshuffle to have much immediate effect on the polls anyway, but they certainly don’t show up in polls conducted before it happened.

MORI also asked about whether people liked or disliked various high profile politicians and their policies. The figures are not good for the former Education Secretary! Only 22% of people like Gove, 54% dislike him – a net rating of minus 32. This was the worst of those MORI asked about – for comparison the net ratings for the others were Osborne minus 24, Miliband minus 22, Farage minus 16, Clegg minus 11, Cameron minus 6, Theresa May plus 5 and, of course, Boris plus 35.

Likeability of course is not the same as being suitable Prime Ministerial material. There are lots of people I like, but wouldn’t want as PM! Asked if they had what it took to be PM Boris scores much less well. 46% thinks Cameron has what it takes (but then, he is PM), 32% think Boris has, 30% think Theresa May has, 22% Ed Miliband, 18% George Osborne, 11% Michael Gove.

183 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 32, LAB 35, LD 8, UKIP 12, GRN 8”

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  1. Glad to see this web site is able to
    Mention the greens at long last.

  2. You know I actually feel quite sorry for Michael Gove. I know what it’s like to be disliked and you have to develop quite a thick skin to be in the public eye and so widely hated.

    8% for the Greens is way overshooting what they’ll get at a GE, although it’s significant that Labour still have an election-winning level of support even without the Greens on board.

    I’ve heard some right wingers talk of UKIP voters coming back to the Tories and Green voters hurting Labour, but it might not be the case.

    Interesting to watch the battle for fourth place going on with handfuls of voters deciding things. Lib Dems lead the Greens by one solitary voter today.

    Unfiltered by turnout, figures are:

    Con 29%
    Lab 37%
    UKIP 12%
    Green 10%
    LDs 8%
    SNP 3%

  3. Trivia for the day: new Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb is the first cabinet member for a century to have a beard. Thatcher is spinning in her grave.

  4. Mr Nameless: Blunket, Clarke, probably more?

  5. You’re right, serves me right to believe Twitter. Might be Tory cabinet members?

  6. Robin Cook?

    Maybe they mean Tory Cabinet Minister.

  7. Mr N

    Stephen Crabb is the first cabinet member for a century to have a beard

    He may be the first Conservative cabinet member to be so bedecked (as Norbold pointed out yesterday), but for a start you have forgotten an MP in your own neck of the wood, Mr Blunkett. We await the definitive full report on the facial furniture of cabinet members over the last 300 years from Mr Wells however.

    I wouldn’t waste too much pity on the tender feelings of Michael Gove however, as he always appears to have more than enough unquestioning faith in his own abilities and likability to compensate. And if that isn’t enough he surrounds himself with those who agree. As I’ve mentioned before though, his ratings are incredibly poor, especially give that he has pretty compliant press coverage compared to Miliband, say.

    It’s being reported that Gove was sacked because there was polling showing he was unpopular with teachers. I suspect this is No 10 trying to appease those in the Party who do support Gove by trying to shift the blame (though all it does is make Cameron look weak). The truth is that Gove is unpopular with practically everyone.

  8. @ Mr. Nameless,

    You know I actually feel quite sorry for Michael Gove.

    Save your tears. If you call everyone who disagrees with you an “enemy of aspiration” they tend to dislike you. He has only himself to blame.

  9. Meanwhile I wouldn’t be dancing on the Lib Dems grave just yet – any more than yesterday’s 10% meant that UKIP were six foot under[1]. It does seem to have been their lowest YouGov ever (though they’ve had 6% with Ashcroft) and shows under 20% of their 2010 vote sticking with them, but it’s probably an outlier. Even at sub-10 levels where margin of error is lower[2], there’s bound to be the odd outsider when you do as many polls as YouGov. And though L/D to Con has been higher than normal over the last few months, today’s looks a bit over the top.

    In actual fact the Lib Dems might be very slightly up over the last week, though that could just be the dead cat twitching a bit. Their MORI rating may be abysmal, but it’s unchanged and it’s possible that there is a shy Lib Dem effect going on.

    It certainly not due to any sort of Juncker effect. There probably was a bit of that at the time, but like most bounces it has succumbed to gravity. There’s a good illustration of this in today’s Leadership Characteristics tracker:


    A fortnight ago Cameron’s rating for ‘Sticks to what he believes in’ jumped from 23% to 31%. It’s now back down to 25%. No other quality was affected in this way which suggests that even this benefit from his tilting at European windmills was as limited as it was short-lived.

    The only thing we can learn from the whole, rather comic, affair, was that not only will the usual supporters in the Press spin what was clearly a disaster for the Conservatives as being a triumph, but the broadcast media will mindlessly report it as such as well[3]. This is something that should worry Labour who I suspect are rather naively depending on the statutory obligation for impartiality. But the trouble is that the media narrative is already so weighted, that what is effectively a pro-Tory bias[4] looks like normal to those who work in the media. This especially applies when reinforced by the assumptions of the London circles in which they move.

    [1] They’re back to 13% today with YouGov (sorry Amber). And though we’ve seen Anthony’s predicted drop in MORI, 12% is still in line with the sort of pattern of polling with MORI last year.

    [2] The MoE on today’s YouGov (effective sample size 1600-ish) would be 1.3 for a ‘true’ value of 8% while it would be 2.4 for Labour’s 38%. Remembering of course that these are minimums and the real margins will wider.

    [3] There was a classic example on the PM Programme when, just after Cameron lost 27-2, there were three interviews (two Tory MPs and an ex-diplomat) all explaining how this wasn’t really too bad. Nothing from Labour on how bad it was or from UKIP saying how this showed that the UK should quit.

    [4] This is more due to particular fixed media views against all the other Parties individually (Labour/Miliband useless; Lib Dems ineffectual; UKIP racist nutters; Greens crusty nutters; SNP blue-painted nutters) than anything explicitly in favour of the Conservatives.

  10. I agree with Mr N

    The teaching unions are opposed to reform no matter what side of the aisle it’s coming from, Labour or Tory.

    In my opinion […snip, please don’t let’s get into an argument about whether ministers were any good or not, it only becomes a partisan back-and-forth – AW]


    @ “Nothing from Labour on how bad it was ”

    Probably because :-
    a) They agreed that Juncker was not the right choice.
    b) Despite blathering about making alliances, their own grouping in the EP supported Juncker.

    Silence on the issue from Labour was manifestly called for.

  12. No he’s wrong to feel sorry for Gove, see Gazprom’s thoughtful post on the previous Fred.


    @”or from UKIP saying how this showed that the UK should quit.”

    Try a different BBC programme the.

    On DP today UKIP were invited to tell KC & a Labour Minister -who both blathered on about “reform”-that they were whistling in the wind. It wasn’t going to happen he said.

    …of course they were all using the word “reform” to mean entirely different things :-)

  14. MiM

    @”The teaching unions are opposed to reform no matter what side of the aisle it’s coming from, Labour or Tory.”

    It goes with the job in this country.

    I think they might be disappointed though after getting through their celebratory drinks.

    This looks like a repeat of Health-get the difficult structural reforms done , & the legislation through early on.
    Then swap a battle scarred Sec of State for a low key one who just makes sure it all beds in , with as little confrontation as possible.

  15. @Colin: “get the difficult structural reforms done”

    Except that with schools, the structural reform is the easy bit. Governments have been continually restructuring, reorganising, and inventing new kinds of schools since the 1988 Act. It’s a kind of displacement activity for ambitious politicians – lots of profile and headlines for the “reformer”; photo opps at shiny new schools – but remarkably little evidence that it makes any difference to the outcomes for kids.


    I agree to some extent, though as I understand it, greater autonomy for heads has shown better outcomes for children in comparative studies.

    But I do agree that when you get down to it, what matters is the teaching-and given the record of resistance encountered by Education Secs of all parties from the teaching unions, one should not be surprised that “difference to the outcomes for kids.”is hard to achieve .

  17. Colin

    I think your probably right about that, I sincerely hope so.
    Further strong reduction in unemployment which is excellent news for those who have now got a job.

    The argument about reduction in living standards will run for many years yet, probably into the 2020 election, such was the size of the problem created by the crash, and the effect of new technology. Taxing the rich more will not resolve it in my opinion. I’m very glad I am retired and fear for my Grandchildren.

  18. Yes, there is some evidence from international studies that the combination of autonomy for heads combined with sharp accountability for outcomes is a characteristic of high performing education system, but by international standards, English schools were already – pre-Gove – at the ‘right’ end of the scale on both these measures. (But there are some obvious exceptions, such as Singapore – much cited as a model by Gove and co – which has a highly centralised, prescriptive system.)

    And some – but not all – of the first generation of academies have shewn significant improvements – but it’s difficult to separate out the effects of additional autonomy from those of the concentration of other highly-focused interventions and resources that flowed their way.

    It’s also worth looking at London Challenge which has transformed educational achievement in London schools right across the board – including, but by no means confined to, academies – and working with the teaching profession in London, not confronting it.

    We actually know quite a lot about what works, but it’s been overshadowed in policy-makers minds by immediate political returns of the Free Schools and academies policies.

    My guess is that of all the Gove reforms, the one that will make the most lasting difference to performance is the new “best 8” GCSE progression measure – which is broadly supported by the teaching profession – rather than all the high profile structural reform and teacher-bashing.

  19. @ Maninthemiddle

    Glad to see you’ve had the snip as well, I’m not the only one!

  20. @MrN

    “Trivia for the day: new Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb is the first cabinet member for a century to have a beard. ”

    What about Ann Widdicombe, or wasn’t she in the Cabinet?



    “Glad to see you’ve had the snip as well, I’m not the only one!”

    Crikey, that’s a bit drastic, isn’t it? Denied the ability to procreate just for contravening the comments policy?

    Anthony: is this true?

  21. I will merely note mildly that it is customary in the real world to actually wait for your results before you declare yourself a roaring success.

    It is not merely enough to do something, it is also important that the thing being done is the right thing and that it is done properly and that once it’s done you see the effects before you decide if the person doing it was a genius or not.

  22. @ Crossbat11

    When I was a teenager I knew (not biblically of course) a couple of lovely bearded old spinster sisters, they had an unfortunate surname though. Gibbon!


    “The teaching unions are opposed to reform no matter what side of the aisle it’s coming from, Labour or Tory.”


    Dunno that’s true of all reform, but in any event, just ‘cos unions are opposed to reform doesn’t mean all teachers are. Various things can be embraced regardless of what the unions think. And many choose not to strike etc.

  24. @Robbiealive and Ewen

    Have replied on previous thread.

    (Short answer Robbie, is that basically you took issue but largely were agreeing with me).

  25. When I finally ascend to the Rulership of the World, I will issue few edicts, but one of them will be that if you don’t understand PISA statistics, you will not ever be allowed to quote them, and that if you contravene that, you will never again be allowed to use the Internet.

    Harsh, but entirely fair.

  26. TOH

    The employment % is incredible really-an all time record.

    Actually, despite average pay being below inflation-if you compound the increase in employment & increase in pay-you get a total spending capacity which would still represent a plus over inflation.

    The downward trend in average pay increases is not recent ( article in the Times today). Also-since the recession I think there have been major sectoral shifts in employment-both private vs public sector , and industry sectors. I have a feeling that some of these are helping to produce lower average pay increases-eg the shift from Public sector to Private sector , and the collapse of high pay Finance Services employment.

    Too lazy to try & dig it out though :-)

  27. MUDDY

    Thanks for that.

  28. Colin

    I’m not a great fan of Juncker myself, but the EU heads of government, including Cameron, had allowed themselves to get into a situation where the EP elections were also treated as a surrogate for the EC President, with the nominated candidate of the group to get the most MEPs being the shoo-in for the post. There were even TV debates between the candidates. And when the EU voted, Juncker ‘won’ – his Christian Democrat group got the plurality of seats.

    So getting anyone else in that position was always going to be difficult and require cunning and great knowledge of the EU. Cameron’s strategy, which seems to have consisted of random hissy fits, was not perhaps to optimum way of getting what was wanted. What is worse it has made the UK a real enemy in Juncker[1] and made Cameron look a bit of a fool among the other EU leaders. The way in which such a low key and apparently reluctant figure as Lord Hunt has been nominated as the UK Commissioner shows that even the Government must realise this. No point in sending a big hitter when they will be assigned the Paperclips portfolio.

    Reimagining this disaster as “Plucky Britain goes down fighting” is really bizarre. The Press can do what they want of course, but for other media to follow their lead is too credulous to be anything like what proper reporting should be. The BBC has an obligation to be balanced in individual programmes (some others such as C4 merely have to be balanced over the whole of their output) and should do so. The fact that Labour’s position is rather confused, just means that should have been highlighted too.

    [1] Not helped by the British Press. This piece in yesterday’s Telegraph illustrates the consequences of a media only too willing to do your bidding:

  29. Carfrew
    Lol , especially re ToH’s allotment.

    However, I will be seriously spooked if Osborne chooses Runcorn as part of his desire to re-invigerate the North.

  30. Lord (Jonathan) Hill not Lord Hunt. So low-key that I couldn’t even remember it from yesterday.

  31. @Colin

    There a lot more people over here nowadays looking for employment, which happens to be causing a few ripples of its own. I suggest per capita measures are better.

    Also I suspect that your claim relies on using CPI, not RPI.

    Even so, while the employment stats include the self employed, the pay stats don’t. Include the rapidly growing numbers of (often involuntary) self employed, whose incomes are typically in only four figures. If included, the growth in the numbers of self employed means that the growth in average earnings disappears even before inflation.

  32. Good Afternoon all, from this hot place by the sea.
    I would expect the Cabinet changes to have positive polling intentions.

    The LD’s seem to have been side lined, and I wonder whether they have just conceded this.

  33. Seems that Ed is going to get his meeting with Obama. Will it affect his ratings?

  34. Who knew Baroness Ashton before she got her ‘secure a comfortable pension’ job in Europe?

  35. I do object to the relentless teacher-union bashing on this thread, all founded on cliched and false assumptions. Carry on if you must, but be aware that many of us just skip those sort of comments with a weary sigh.

  36. @RogerH

    I can say with about 99% certainty that the answer will be ‘no.’

    The idea with a photo OP with the US President will suddenly make an opposition leader look more serious is just one of those moronic ideas that pass for sagacity in the Westminster Bubble.

  37. The MORI poll is based on responses from only 52.4% of their sample of adults. I can see the rationale for an “absolutely certain to vote” filter on the eve of an election. But 10 months before, it seems a bit harsh. Turnout at the GE will be a bit higher than 52%, unless we see a record low.

  38. goves wife is certainly supporting her husband after his sacking by retweeting a message by max hastings ‘A shabby day’s work which Cameron will live to regret’
    ouch! as colin would say

  39. @ Roger Mexico

    In a similar way you had a problem remembering his name, a man called Schultz had to Google our mystery man, Hill, as he hadn’t heard of him. He may have been worried by the first result:

    Hill: A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain.

    Now Schultz? Who’s he? Remind me.

  40. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    What’s wrong? Runcorn’s got a nice bridge & ……….. a rowing club.

  41. RM – thought it was dodgy rhyming slang as a verdict.

  42. But no spaceport ….yet !

  43. RogerH,

    Probably not, unless it goes spectacularly well (i.e endorsement from Obama) or awfully (Kinnock and Healey visiting Reagan).

  44. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    We’re having that down in Newquay.

    It’s going to double up as a theme park, some people will get a tiny shock if they think they’re just going on a modern roller coaster!

  45. Good Evening All, again.
    I think that Cameron’s removal of Gove from Education is reminiscent of the jibe about Macmillan: ‘Greater Love hath no man, when he lays down his friends for his Life’ By J Thorpe about the 1962 culling of his cabinet.

    I think the replacement by a more ‘camera friendly’ lady may appeal to primary school teachers and parents.

    I think that structural reforms are unpopular, but they have not worked through yet.

  46. @ MrNameless

    Obama: “I’m happy today to welcome the leader of the opposition in the UK, David err sorry, that should be Ed Millipede, err sorry, slip of the tongue again, Ed Millband. Got it right eventually”

    About sums it up for me.


    @” the EU heads of government, including Cameron, had allowed themselves to get into a situation where the EP elections were also treated as a surrogate for the EC President,”

    Yes I’m aware of how it happened-and Farage was the only MEP who told Juncker n, in the chamber, that he had no legitimacy because his name wasn’t on any EU election voting slip.

    The Council of Ministers seem to have sleep walked into this-but the MEPs claim that it emerges from the Lisbon Treaty. A Labour Minister on DP today was downplaying the role of MEPs & claiming the seniority of elected Leaders. I think she doesn’t understand the powerplay now at work in Brussels.

    So far a Juncker’s appointment is concerned, the clincher was a deal between Merkel & her domestic coalition partners to get SPD approval of Juncker & the dropping of their candidate Schulz-provided Schulz became President of the EP.

    Farage outlined this stitch up too, in the EP debate on Juncker.

    The whole rotten system rests on these sort of deals .

  48. @Bantams,

    Can’t go worse than Mitt Romney calling him “Mr. Leader”.

  49. Chris – Kevin Maguire used that on R5 today

  50. @ChrisLane

    I’d love to have met MacMillan, seemed to have a suitable phrase for every occasion.

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