The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%(+1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1), GRN 7%. Labour and the Conservatives are equal on 33, the first MORI poll since last November not to show a Labour lead. All the usual caveats apply – it’s just one poll, so in isolation is not any more meaningful than the ICM poll earlier this week showing a seven point Labour lead, it’s the wider trend that counts. Full tabs are here.
There’s a slight methodological tweak in this month’s poll – for the first time MORI conducted a proportion (20%) of the interviews via mobile phone. Past testing by MORI over the last five months suggests this doesn’t actually make any difference to the final figures, but it avoids a potential future risk.
MORI also had a batch of “how would you vote if X was leader” questions, to which I’ll add my normal note of caution. People are rubbish at answering hypothetical questions at the best of times, and here we are expecting people to say how they’d vote with X as party leader when they don’t know what direction X would set for the party, what their policies and priorities would be, how the media would react to them in the reality of leadership and so on.
Asked how they would vote with Boris as Conservative leader, there would be a five point Conservative lead, with Theresa May as leader there would be a 4 point Labour lead, with George Osborne as leader a 9 point Labour lead. Two extra caveats – there wasn’t a control question asking about current leaders, and these figures are not filtered by likelihood to vote in the way MORI’s main question is. The May v Osborne v Johnson questions are all exactly comparable, though Boris is undoubtedly flattered by being the best known, but some of the difference between this and the standard voting intention will be down to the effect of mentioning Miliband & Clegg in the question. As ever, hypothetical leadership questions are a bit of fun, they are unlikely to have any real predictive ability, so please don’t read too much into them.