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. Alec, that last post was meant to be addressed to you!

  2. There’s an interesting poll on the YouGov website.

    People are overwhelmingly opposed to the move to delay payment of jobseekers allowance by a month, yet next to no-one knows of it.


    Note the change in opinion on the bedroom tax, from initially mild support to outright opposition as the main opposition party decided that it should oppose it and the consequences became clear. How many other benefit changes like this one on JSA are disappearing under the radar because Labour hasn’t got the gumption to reinforce their potential unpopularity and similarly oppose them outright and make them into a campaigning issue ?

  3. Personal finances:- the Grauniad website mentions a Populus poll. Polling was carried out between Dec 2013 and Feb 2014. Dunno why it has taken so long to surface. The headline claims that 1 in 6 families are struggling.

    “Populus polled 6,300 people for Which? and also found that, despite the economic recovery, two in five people were worried about household debt and half were worried about the level of their household savings and investments.”


  4. @Phil Haines

    I posted this before, but here is another blog collating that facts about self-employment and suporting the Resolution Foundation


    All political parties are going to have to address this soon

  5. As I said on Tuesday the re-shuffle is all “9 months to put their vision in place and to save the country *” stuff [snip]
    (I still think Lab will be up to 40% VI by the end of Aug , but after that ,all bets are off).

  6. @Crossbat

    I think Lady Stoat lost out to those damn badgers

  7. ALEC

    There are over 11 million mortgage holders in uk-and whatever number of credit card debtors.

    If you are telling me that this section of the electorate-maybe 30% of it-is not worrying about an interest rate rise, then I say you are unlikely to be correct.

    But of course I can’t prove that nthis factor-or any other factor -lies at the heart of OP responses on personal finance prospects.


    That looks like a really interesting Poll-thanks.

    Can’t access the detail anywhere though ?

  9. Ewen Lightfoot,

    I don’t understand why labour would be on 40% in 6 weeks’ time. what would be driving that?

  10. The proof of the re-shuffle pudding will be after Christmas and in particular during the official GE campaign when the ‘new’ team will be representing the Tories.

    In this regard imo the changes are probably electorally beneficial.

    How the greater Euro-scepticism will play out is uncertain and double edged; itmay help marginally with recovering some Con-UKIP whilst putting off some centrists and worrying business.

  11. These ‘free’ schools are all over Norwich like a rash – hopefully they’ll be scrapped now

  12. @Colin – re interest rates, yes I agree with your post about mortgage holders worrying about the prospect of a rate rise. My earlier post was in haste as I was heading out, so I didn’t include my intended clarification that I was talking about general inflation prospects, of which mortgage costs are a part, while you were talking of specific impacts of rate rises.

    You therefore could be quite correct that rate rise concerns are having an impact on VI, but again, the evidence suggests that the impact seems to be more likely to stem from perceptions of existing difficulties, with no immediate prospect of a rise.

    Elsewhere, you also said this –

    “…..the modest upturn in average pay can still represent a real increase in national domestic spending power in the economy……”

    For the avoidance of doubt, as our legal friends say, I wanted to clarify the point about the ‘modest upturn’ – namely, that there hasn’t been one. Barring a single month, when there was a tiny increase, and only then if bonuses were included, average household spending power has declined month on month. Last month the decline was 1.2%.

    Indeed, I think it might be time to return to the talk of ‘crossover’. A huge deal was made of the average wages/inflation crossover in April, and much was also made of the VI crossover around a month later.

    I don’t believe these events are unconnected, but in both cases, pretty much all commentators got it spectacularly wrong – household incomes returned immediately to negative, with the pace of the drop quickening rapidly, while the VI gap widened again.

    I criticise others for talking a statistically formulaic approach to polling, so I’m not going to say that any of this makes a given result next year certain, but it does seem clear that the fell good/bad factor mirrors the amount of VI recovery in the year leading up to Tory administrations seeking re election.

    There are many other economic factors out there that can swing votes, most obviously whether voters think Labour will be any better, but it’s far harder to defend you vote if peoples real wages are falling.

  13. @Alec – “Last month the decline was 1.2%.”

    Please be more precise in future. According to the CPI figure, the decline was 1.2%, but using the RPI figure, which some say is a better measure of actual household costs, the drop was a staggering 1.9%.

  14. @Colin
    I have gone round in circles from link to link and the best lead so far to more detail is on another Grauniad web page which says .-

    “The results have been published in the form of the Which? Financial Distress Map, which drills down the data as far as lower layer super output areas (LSOAs), the smallest geographical aggregation other than specific postcodes.”


  15. ALEC

    I was refering to this :-

    “For March to May 2014, regular pay for employees in Great Britain was 0.7% higher than a year
    earlier. This was the lowest annual growth rate since records begin in 2001 and reflects low pay
    growth across a wide range of industrial sectors.
    Total pay for employees in Great Britain was 0.3% higher for March to May 2014 compared with a
    year earlier. ”

    UK Labour Market, July 2014

    Of course inflation exceeds that figure.

    But if you refer to my post to to John Pilgrim at 6.42 am you will see that I used this data to postulate an increase in total consumer spending power-because Employment rate has risen.

    This was further explained in my response to Carfrew at 8.10 am-in which I acknowledged the countervailing effect of inflation.

    It is a great pity that the OP Ozwald highlights is not available in detail. I suspect that would help us to get closer to the component parts of peoples financial concerns-and emphasise the differing levels of these concerns in different parts of the country-or even different parts of the same region.

    I remain of the opinion that some people are worrying about lack of income now,, and some people are worrying about debt servicing costs in the near future. And no doubt some poor devils are worrying about both.

  16. @Howard

    I think the Mori ‘likeability’ poll has got to you. I don’t think any of this has a bearing on party choice.”

    Before replying to your comment, it’s good to see you posting again after your foreign travels. I always appreciate your cryptic and often humorous contributions, even if I don’t always agree with every word of them!

    And, on that disagreement theme, I’m not sure I agree with you about “likeability” not being a determinant of voting choice. We’ve often discussed what issues resonate with the public, and those that don’t, and I think there is a consensus amongst us that many of the things that excite and interest people who pay close attention to politics, possibly to the point of obsession, don’t register with members of the general public. The recent cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of Juncker are two such examples, in my view; there are many others.

    So that leaves us with the conundrum of what does really influence voting choice. A feeling of economic well-being, or lack of one, is obviously important, as is past voting behaviour and party loyalty, but I think voters resemble consumers more now, voting on whim in some cases and on factors that are quite often far removed from hard politics and economics. I think one of the Tories problems is their lack of sympathetic politicians who resonate and appeal to the public. All parties suffer from this to a lesser or greater extent now, but I think the Tories may suffer more than most. Recent polling evidence lends itself to this theory, probably exacerbated by the lingering negative image of the Tory Party in general. This is a hangover from the Thatcher era.

    It’s in this context that I think likeability plays a part and, in the modern era, this is usually the ability to come over well and sympathetically on a TV screen. All very superficial, I know, but it was widely thought that George W Bush benefited greatly by being regarded as the presidential candidate voters felt most comfortable having a drink and laugh with. Boris Johnson’s popularity stems essentially from his ability to make people laugh.

    I’m aware that there are other factors at play when voters decide which way they’re going to vote, but underestimate the power of likeability in politics at your peril.

    Anecdotal, I know, but I’ve met many people on the doorstep who say things like, “They’re not doing a bad job but I could never bring myself to vote for them. I can’t stand that……………”. Fill in the blanks with any one of a host of names. Irrational, emotional, call it what you will, but if you’re not liked as a party and/or politician, and if the voters just feel a little uncomfortable about who and what you are, well, it’s a mighty big boulder to roll up a very steep hill.

  17. OZWALD

    I found the Which Distress Map.

    But it was the questions & responses I was interested in.

  18. I agree with Jim Jam that the reshuffle will probably be of slight electoral benefit to the Tories (which is after all the idea of reshuffling so close to an election), but would actually go even further.

    Labour are clearly drifting leftwards, the Conservatives rightwards, and the Lib Dems are in no position to mop up centre voters. Throw in the UKIP factor, and for the first time since 87 I think the Tories being as open as they can about being right wing is probably the best electoral strategy. They have successfully used the Lib Dems as human shields during this parliament, to such a dramatic extent that distancing themselves from their coalition partners is probably an even higher priority than taking credit for popular measures in which the Lib Dems were involved (the triple lock for instance).

  19. ‘I remain of the opinion that some people are worrying about lack of income now,, and some people are worrying about debt servicing costs in the near future. And no doubt some poor devils are worrying about both.’

    Seems correct to me, I not really sure what Alec is disagreeing with

  20. Clegg is becoming openly critical of the Conservatives

    “”I have been completely blindsided today by hearing that the Conservatives – extraordinarily enough – want to line up with Vladimir Putin and other tyrants around the world by tearing up our long tradition of human rights.”


    Bedroom tax yesterday, human rights today.

    The election campaign has kicked off. I expect the coalition will have to dissolve quite soon once open hostility breaks out. If the Tories and Lib Dems open up the mud slinging now Labour should benefit. The Lib Dems can’t go much lower, so it should hurt the conservatives.

  21. Talking of Lady stoats the simplest way to tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel is to ask them politely.

  22. FV – their difference is I think about the relative impact of short term over long term.
    I tend to think that expected future interest rate rises have little impact yet as the predictions a still rather vague.
    But who knows, it would have to be a very detailed and carefully structured OP to extract that I think.

    By dint of asking the prompt will distort the responses.

  23. @JimJam

    Yes it would be very difficult to quantify in percentage terms what are the reasons for pessimistic

    so i am going to leave them to it, it is certainly a very interesting exchange – and polite as well. which is why I read UKPR

    Here is a prediction from Polling Observatory at Southampton University

    Election prediction
    Lab 36.23
    Cons 35.52
    LD 8.22


    Seats on electoral Calculus would be

    Lab = 327
    Cons = 285
    LD = 11
    Others = 27

    Lab marjority 4

  24. No no!

    that is wrong, if you put the exact percentages in

    Election prediction
    Lab 36.23
    Cons 35.52
    LD 8.22

    You get

    Lab = 325
    Cons = 287
    LD = 11
    Others = 27

    Lab short by 1.

    Now, how close is that!!

  25. Technically a Lab majority of 12, that is.

  26. COLIN wrote “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.”

    I’m afraid I disagree with this – or at least partially disagree.

    Spending capacity has increased for the better off but, decreased for the poorest.

    While the level of inflation is *technically* correct, it hides one thing that effects ordinary people day to day – there are, effectively two economies right now.

    What I mean by this is that while the price of essentials has soared in the last few years, there has actually been *deflation* in other parts of the economy. The price of CDs/DVDs/mobiles/clothes/electronics etc. has actually *fallen* year on year.

    A little while ago, I worked out the price rise I have to pay for esentials, and included:

    Food (I have to eat)
    Rent (has to be paid)
    Bills (Electricity, heating etc – likewise)
    Bus fare (Have to get to work)
    Cigarettes (Ok, I’m addicted).

    I found that the combined price rise was 10-11%. 9-10% if I left out ciggys.

    What this means is that for those with a fair chunk left over after everything that *has* to be paid for most likely have seen an increase in spending capacity, but, those that are less well off have been squeezed hard.

  27. Fairly close to my projection which is based on puppies wuffs and barks and probably cost less.

    …….Actually, looking at their bills and adding pocket money, footballs etc, I’m not so sure.

  28. rosieanddaisie

    It is quite simple to tell the difference as one is weasalt distinguished and the other is stoataly different

  29. Great to see that Sarah Wollaston has got the job of chair of the Health Select Committee.

    Very pleased to see that.


    @”pending capacity has increased for the better off but, decreased for the poorest.”

    That is why I was refering to “TOTAL spending capacity.

    ie-if both the employment rate ( % of workforce) and average pay have risen over the last year -however modestly-that must represent an increase in TOTAL spending capacity of the combined effect of the two.

    ….of course this will impact differently for groups and individuals.

    ….of course the rise in living costs may impact spending patterns of groups & individuals.

  31. from the Polling Observatory numbers above, I get a Labour majority of 1 using my seat calculator.

  32. New thread.

  33. @DJ

    Nope, you can’t assume that my writing “the whole national curriculum” thing means I am against the national curriculum, because it doesn’t and I am not. The phrase contains nothing perjorative within it, and was simply intended to convey that it was a big change requiring a lot of work. I think the introduction of the national curriculum was a good thing, though it could have been done better of course…

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