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.

153 Responses to “Ipsos-MORI/Standard – CON 33, LAB 33, LD 7, UKIP 13, GRN 7”

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  1. Good Afternoon All.
    Just a bit of fun, but is this a sign of the Swing Back, with over inflated Lib Dem numbers, yet again?

  2. Fair enough Anthony-couldn’t resist it after the last thread.

    The index finger is weak.

  3. Full VI figures (as per previous thread)

    Conservative 33% (33)

    Labour 33% (35)

    Liberal Democrats 7% (8)

    Scottish Nationalist 3% (3)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (*)

    Green Party 7% (8)

    UKIP 13% (11)

    British National Party * (*)

    Other 2% (2)

    Figures in brackets all giving a preference. As usual main figures only based on those ‘certain to vote’.

    The tables actually do show “figures…filtered by likelihood to vote in the way MORI’s main question is”. They give

    Boris Johnson: Con 37%, Lab 33% (+4)

    Theresa May: Con 34%, Lab 34% (+0)

    George Osborne: Con 30%, Lab 36% (-6)

    though of course the other point about asking a control question still applies. If that has a similar effect to it does with YouGov, then again we see Boris making the difference of a point or two at best.

  4. Shouldn’t the Conservative VI been 33 (32)

  5. “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.”


    It’s possible that reading more into them might be part of the fun…

  6. Yeah! It proves Boris will be PM for 10 glorious terms. Possibly forever!

    Actually, Carfrew, that wasn’t as much fun as I’d hoped.

  7. @Postage

    I’m not sure you went far enough…

  8. @Carfrew


    I can’t imagine going any further without using a truss.

  9. Scottish crossbreaks looking bad for LDs and terrifying for Labour. There seems to be no correlation between the SNP’s vi figures and the expected outcome of the referendum.

    I know – “don’t pay too much attention to crossbreaks” says AW; but of those certain to vote SNP supporters are ahead of Labour by a large margin.

    How to interpret these figures? It would seem to me that those who assume failure at the referendum will lead to the disintegration of the SNP need to re-think. The SNP is not a party of ‘none of the above’ but a real presence in Scottish political life. It has control of several councils and has a bedrock of support which seems (repeat, seems) solid enough. The LDs are none existent in many parts and the Tories have woeful membership numbers and are unlikely to be able to fight a GE here in any real sense at all. So that leaves Labour and the SNP as the major players.

    Many Scots who will vote No at the referendum may well vote SNP at the next GE for the simple reason that the SNP seems at present to be the only party which is certain to stand up for what the Scots value.

    Should the Conservatives rally enough to pose a real threat to the supposedly certain Labour victory in 2015 then it is hard to tell how Scotland will vote.

    If Labour continues on its current dismal path in Scotland, with little in the way of inspiring leadership, then we may well be in for another SNP government in 2016. And that can’t be a good thing – for all parties in a functioning democracy need time in opposition to rethink things and come up with new ideas.

  10. If the SNP continues on its current dismal path in Scotland, with little in the way of inspiring leadership, then we may well be in for a new government in 2016. And that must surely be a good thing – for all parties in a functioning democracy need time in opposition to rethink things and come up with new ideas.

  11. @ John B

    I commented on this a few weeks ago, Labour could potentially end up with 20 fewer seats in Scotland at the GE. Those of a certain hue dissed it as impossible just as Tony Blair thought it was impossible for anyone other than Labour ever controlling the Scottish Parliament!

  12. @ Bantam,

    I commented on this a few weeks ago, Labour could potentially end up with 20 fewer seats in Scotland at the GE.
    That’s not what by-elections, council by-elections nor the euro elections would suggest.

    And electoral calculus’s prediction is Labour holding all it’s 41 seats in 2015. What’s a bit disappointing for Labour is that it shows the LD losses benefitting the Tories & SNP rather than the Labour Party.

    Nevertheless, Labour ‘collapsing’ per your prediction seems vanishingly unlikely.

  13. I realize great care is taken to ensure an appropriate sample in doing these polls but surely the effects of the Summer Holidays are showing through. Different sections go on Holiday in different weeks and even then ones perception is masked by the sunshine and dancing etc. Give it a few weeks to settle down. Averaged out, these polls seem to show no change.

  14. Even if we can now say that a Naw vote is probable, quite what will happen to the SNP afterwards is hard to say. They did poorly after 1979 and 1997, but an election in which Labour look like winning may make a lot of left-wing Scots feel safer voting SNP, and the party’s political base (i.e. number of elected representatives who can help with campaigning) is unprecedently strong after 2011.

    I expect the SNP vote to fall a little in 2015, but not by much, and they may pick up a seat or two from the LDs. Argyll, Gordon, Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine, and Caithness all have potential for the SNP, because these are areas in which Labour have struggled historically (except Caithness) but where the LDs are going to lose a lot of ground in 2015. Labour also got a big boost in 2015 from local lad Gordon Brown and may be near their peak.

    As for the UK poll, it seems like a bit of reversion to the mean after a series of good polls for Labour.

  15. @John B – today’s Yougov tabs have the SNP 3rd in Scotland behind the Conservatives…

  16. @John B – I get the sense that AS currently dominates the SNP, and is revered/feared by many. His dominance is challenged by a few who openly question some of his assertions, but there does seem to be a rising undercurrent of criticism (friendly enough, in the main) of his conduct of the campaign.

    The big question will be whether AS can (or wants) to ride on in the face of a defeat. If not, there will be positives and negatives in a change at the top, but I think it’s too early to discount a period of bruising introspection if the result currently predicted comes to pass.

    AS has never been a loser – the reaction to this eventuality will be interesting.

  17. It’s interesting that Theresa May provokes such a neutral reaction. If the Tories are strategically smart, they may well elect her as leader in 2015; she’s their most electable female politician since Maggie. (With all due to respect to Anne Widdecombe, and no shortage of admiration for her have-a-go spirit..)

  18. @ AW
    I always take your point about “one poll does not a GE win”. But the recent volatility of major players in your game, is causing a bit of excitement.
    An acquaintance of mine, an ex Royal Marine, calls press ups “gay marching”. I must say the last few days in the political polling world have been equally up and down.

  19. @ Amber
    I guess when the Tories died in Scotland a number of them would have gone to (in their eyes) the nearest thing, the LD’s. That sad party have so little appeal anywhere, I suppose their ex Tories may return. Whether the Tory unionist connection will help them attract those who dispense with “Wee Eck” I don’t know.

  20. Carfrew & Others from previous thread

    There are comparisons with 1992 in terms of this being a ‘who leads’ election. Whilst I accept that ‘the papers’ don’t have the influence that they did back then, no left-wing internet campaigning group is going to make Miliband a more attractive potential PM.

    At the moment EM is seen as a poor opposition leader who would make a disastrous PM, but in the next few months voters have to decide who they want to be PM.

    Let’s assume that Labour have a 30% base who are going to vote for them regardless. Where are the extra few points going to come from ? People switching from being Tory in 2010 to Labour in 2015 ? Negligible. The so called Red Dems ? Possibly, but with an election where the Tories and the Press will make it a straight choice between who you want as PM, a good number may slip back into the LD fold, unconvinced that they should take a chance on Miliband despite Clegg ‘selling out’ in the coalition.

    The Kippers are the next focus, can they risk backing Farage and letting Miliband in – a figure they will loathe. Many of them will not with that gun to their head in the polling booth.

    There is therefore, a very good case for Labour not exceeding 31% next May. Whether the Tory share can hold at nearly 37% remains to be seen, but I think it can.

  21. John B

    I’m trying not to get too partisan here but your anti-Labour threads and in particular your claim that Labour will somehow be damaged by a “No” vote that they are largely credited for winning is, to say the least, counter-intuitive – surely they’ll be boosted by this?

    I think back to the 1979 Devolution Referendum here in Wales and the one party that was unambiguously for a “No” vote (the Tories) hugely benefited ( he said through gritted teeth ) in the subsequent GE – including some freakishly good results in parts of Wales such as Montgomeryshire and Ynys Mon.

    I agree with your post, not happily.

  23. I am not wholly convinced we can treat the LibDem and Green voters who moved from Labour in 2010 as a single voice who will all react in the same way. that said, all evidence we have to date is that Labour has regained many of the voters it lost between 2005 and 2010. Labour’s performance in 2005 was pretty much in line with a core vote somewhere around or above 35%. I’d guess the core Conservative vote is also somewhere around that level – although they have yet to reach it consistently. If those voters do not return to Labour then it will be doomed to repeat its dreadful 2010 result. This may happen but on balance at the moment there is no sign it will happen.

    We have really been in this territory since 2010. I agree with all the caveats about EM and I also understand DC has fluency and incumbency on his side. The conservatives may well break away – say after the conference or as in the case of SNP after New Year was voters come to focus on what matters. However, what may matter is that people still feel worse off despite the huge fall in unemployment. that may be to do with the fact employment was sustained at a much higher level in this recession – as in the one of the early 1990’s – and many in effect took a cut in wages to keep their job. This means it will take some time before that loss in take home pay unwinds. it may be that is what is keeping labour more competitive than they might have expected. Maybe EM’s switch to cost of living was better judged than many at the time thought.

    I’d not put any money on anyone winning yet but Labour’s chances IMHO are better than at any election in their last long period in opposition between 1979 and 1997.

  24. Very depressing and predictable to see the Unions and usual suspect editorial writers cynically seize on what is clearly a reporting blip on wage growth linked to when bonuses are paid. I really hate politics sometimes, any excuse to have a go at free market economics..

  25. The Ipsos Mori poll on leaders, with its minor shufflings, underwrite my view about leaders being any more than a miniscule influence.

    As an aside, I would imagine that Mrs (? I don’t know if this is her maiden or married name) May and Mr Osborne would be grateful that apparently so many voters had heard of them, sufficient to form a view.

    It’s August.

    One big difference between now and 2005 is that Labour was led by Tony Blair, who was able to appeal ‘across the aisle’ as they say in the USA.

    Probably the core vote for all parties declines in each generation, with tribal loyalties diminishing.

    I think as Summer comes to an end (I always think A Level Results Day is the beginning of the End), the Tories feel happier than Labour at political prospects.

    Of course if TB were to return Labour’s prospects might be transformed, especially if Tony Blair joined the Labour Party.

  27. @John B
    ” I know – “don’t pay too much attention to crossbreaks” says AW; but”

    …but you go ahead and do it anyway. :-)

  28. I looked it up -she was Brasier before becoming a May, so she is a Mrs.


    ‘The Kippers are the next focus, can they risk backing Farage and letting Miliband in – a figure they will loathe.’

    Kippers do loathe Milliband, but judging by the weight of comment elsewhere no more than the other two. The line of ‘vote Ukip get Labour’ is not quite as scary to some of us as you might think. A consistent narrative is; ‘Vote Ukip, get Milliband, watch him screw the county up and get Ukip in 2019’. Might not be right but a more pervasive sentiment than the one you espouse.

  30. @Rich

    Wages for many people are struggling. That’s the single most important reason why the cost of living question is so negative for the Tories.

  31. RAF

    It is a problem and one we have talked about in the Sun.

    The message will be though – ‘hey, things are great but you have a job and a chance to leave the bind of the EU with Cameron’. Vote Labour and be tied to EU legislation that will hamper your employer and more likely see you laid off.

  32. ‘Things are NOT great’ I should have said !

  33. @RAF
    Lots of people are always struggling, irrespective of who is in power. This “cost of living crisis” is an imaginative alternative to having nothing to say about the economy.

    [Left wing people] will of course deny anything good coming from a Tory led coalition, People of my blood group cannot understand why we are not 20 points in the lead. Its all the others who will decide if [they are] blinkered lefties, or I am a middle class buffer who has no idea what the real world is about.

  34. roland

    ” … I am a middle class buffer who has no idea what the real world is about.”

    I’m sure you’re not quite that bad Roly.

  35. RH

    Why on earth should Cameron be 20 points ahead ? The next election can only be won on the basis of negative campaigning.

  36. IPSOS/MORI have had the sense to assess party leaders satisfaction ratings in terms of the posts they now hold. All of them have negative ratings and, if voters settle for a “least worst” option there is not much in it, contrary to some [snip] claims.

    Cameron minus 54
    Milliband minus 58
    Clegg minus 64
    Farage minus 43

    The nightmare prospect facing blues is that, if they are out of office in 2015, then by 2019/20 they will be approaching three decades without securing an overall majority.

  37. CON 33%(+1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1), GRN 7%.

    I’m inclined to think this is a bit of MOE around a Labour 3-4% lead. It’s not as dramatic as the ICM turnaround (in the opposite direction!) but fairly consistent with recent IPSOS/MORI polling. Their last poll had Labour leading by 3, this one is a dead heat with the Tories only up 1%.

    The fact that it’s out of kilter with the latest Populus and YouGov polls (let’s forget ICM for now) suggests that the change is down to a bit of sampling variation rather than a genuine shift in opinion.

    Still, what might be worth noting is that this is yet another poll putting the combined Labour and Tory vote share well below 70%. I’m inclined to think that’s right and, rather like the 2010 election, it underlines the complete and utter death of two party politics in this country. The rotting edifice is only sustained by the FPTP voting system and, as I’ve said before, the real story of all these polls is how appallingly BOTH the two main parties are doing.

    The people who think that either Labour or the Tories are going to get anywhere near 40% next May are in complete cloud cuckoo land. I suspect it will be a 35 v 32 configuration; not dissimilar to 2005 in fact. Rather like John Murphy I think Labour may shade it and be over-rewarded in terms of seats by the current electoral system and the constituency boundaries, with UKIP holing the Tories quite some way below the water-line. However the real story of the election should be how many of the voters shunned the Big Two, either not voting at all or opting for other parties. I wonder, on a small turnout (60-65%?), whether 2015 may see the combined vote share of Labour and the Tories, in terms of a percentage of those eligible to vote, fall below 50%?

    I’m starting to think that quite a significant section of the electorate now view the Labour and Tory parties as anachronisms and historical curiosities and would no sooner vote for either of them as they would go to an end of pier show. This is another reason why historical precedent is becoming hopelessly irrelevant in terms of predicting how electorates will behave in the future.

    I think Pressman and co may well be whistling in the dark.

  38. i do not agree with pressman or people who agree with his reasoning. However, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    However, what can you say objectively that everyone will agree with?

    Here are some things. I don’t know who will win the election. Nobody does.

    The second thing is that a very important factor will be the situation, particularly the economic situation, which exists at the time of the election. I don’t know what that situation will be.

    No here is something, which has not been mentioned by other posters that I can see, or at least not sufficiently. It is this -the Labour and Conservative parties are very close in terms of policy. There is not a big difference between them.

    The discussions that I see on the site, with some exceptions, seem to be talking about a Labour Party that has not existed for many years.

    The Labour Party that does exist today, with policies very close to those of the Conservative party, will be highly likely to form the next government, unless the conservatives, and others can come up with much much more effective counter-arguments than they seem to be doing,

    As Anthony Wells has pointed out, all the present attacks and arguments are priced into Labour’s rating lead over the conservatives. Water off a duck’s back perhaps. Does any remember the “demon eyes” poster attacking Tony Blair?

    I don’t know who will win the election. We’ll see.

  39. As Anthony noted in the last thread ICM also asked the Boris question:

    Now we have the tables we can see that their details. The actual question they asked was If Boris Johnson were leading the Conservative Party instead of David Cameron, please tell me which party you think you would vote for if there were a general election tomorrow?, which may get round the problem Anthony highlighted about reminding you of the other leaders. The pre-adjustment figures were:

    Con 33% (31)

    Lab 38% (39)

    L/D 10% (9)

    SNP 2% (3)

    PC 1% (1)

    Green 4% (4)

    UKIP 9% (11)

    BNP 1% (1)

    Other 1% (1)


    WNV 9% (9)

    DK 31% (22)

    compared to the equivalent for standard VI.

    What is interesting here is the increase in Don’t Knows, many of whom are Conservatives made uneasy by the thought of a Party led by Boris[1]. Some current Tory voters also switch to other Parties – mainly Labour and Lib Dem. The pattern in the MORI poll is similar.

    Now it may be that he could attract them back while keeping hold of the UKIP voters and others tempted by Boris PM. But on the other hand more substantial issues might see them return while the ex-Tories remain alienated. You suspect Boris isn’t one of those people who really suits opposition.

    [1] A party led by Boris on the other hand…(This is why I alway use a capital P for political Parties).

  40. “It is this -the Labour and Conservative parties are very close in terms of policy. There is not a big difference between them.”

    I tend to find the people who say that tend also to be those who have the least idea what the two parties’ policies are. In fact I would say some people (Guardian commenters and UKIP-aligned commenters in a lot of places, here’s looking at you) have internalised it so deeply that they simply parrot the line whenever it comes up without being able to name a single policy on which their positions are identical (there are some, if few).

    It’s also total myth that the Labour Party was once this great bastion of socialism before Blair took over. It’s a view held by those who grew up in the era of Foot and Benn and who aren’t old enough to remember how boringly centrist Gaitskell and Wilson were.

  41. “hypothetical leadership questions are a bit of fun”
    How about “and if Churchill were leader?” He was a Liberal, once, after all (and lost as a Conservative) but you have to be about 70 to remember him other than by reputation. Pretty good at speeches, though.

    More seriously, looking at 31% DK+9% WNV, are their any predictions about the likely turnout in 2015? If it’s less than 60%, there will be several UKIP seats, IMHO.

  42. @mrnameless “without being able to name a single policy on which their positions are identical”
    It’s not their policies, it’s their performance and practices. eg increasing the debt, putting cronies in the Lords, levying green taxes, believing AGW, entering into foreign military engagements (pace Syria), top down ‘reforms’ of the NHS and education, staying in the EU, claiming reforms to it, top rate of tax below 50% (for most of the time), wishy washy on expenses reform, immigration levels … …

  43. At least several of those are policies and they’re policies on which I can draw several points of difference between the Labour and Conservative parties. That or they’re things that don’t apply either to Labour or the Tories – e.g. Syria, top tax rate, Green taxes.

  44. @mr nameless
    I am so glad that you mentioned the bit about Labour and Conservatives being close in terms of policy.

    In fact it was pressman who said that. That is the reason for mentioning that.

    I don’t what the rest of your post is about. I am not connected with any political party, nor am I advocating that one party is better than another, or worse, which seems to be what pressman does. However, it was pressman who said that there was not much difference between Labour and Conservative in terms of policies.

    I would guess that the public would think of the reform of clause 4 as a difference between, Labour of the past and present-day Labour.

  45. 34/36/10/12 :-)

  46. Adge3
    Back in the 60s Ken Tynan, a great theatre critic, raconteur and famous for being the first person to say “fu*k” on TV used to say ” that everybody knew that there was only an inch or so difference between Labour and Tory, but in that inch is a world of difference”.
    I liked that a lot when I first heard it and I still agree with it, so Nameless is right and you are wrong.

    Which way did the 60s go?

    Unusually brooding if I may say so ! And although I think Lab will hit 40% this Summer I suspect that 36% is what they will get next May , with the Tories 2 or 3 points behind. So I don’t qualify for living in Cloud cuckoo land.

  47. Very interesting article in the Telegraph to day by Ms Riddel pointing to the dilemma for the Tories in either chasing the UKIP defectors or the ethnic minority vote. She is clear that ethnic drift is the more threatening factor of the two.
    Decline of the big two?
    This is very much a European wide issue. Sweden is facing an election where the social democrats are likely to be the biggest party but a long way short of a majority. The numbers are likely to add up for a left alliance but the demands of the reds and greens may be too extreme. The greens want the closure of Stolkholm airport. This could mean yet another alliance between the two traditional big parties following Germany.
    Not only is Finland in recession(or maybe depression) but the centre right leader of the 5 party coalition says his biggest challenge is to keep the social democrats breathing.
    The pressures listed on this thread, low wage groth, cost of living etc mean that populist alternatives mushroom but the main parties remain the likely focus of governmen in the UKt, thank goodness

  48. Roger M
    I stick by what I have concluded regarding leaders, of whom I regard B Johnson as a non-starter. In that vein, I have an image of politics, in which we are all interested, which matches the Asterix and Obelix one. Picture it, the moon shines above while the voters enjoy their summer wine and frolics below, while you, Amber, Spearmint, Colin, Cb11 and I are clamped in the trees with gags over the mouths and the keyboards tantalisingly out of reach.

  49. @Ewen L

    Tonight’s YouGov might not be a million miles away from the May 2015 result in my view, but I suppose we’re all indulging in speculation really. Informed speculation, I hope, but speculation nonetheless. I agree with you about the possibility of some strange opinion poll spikes in the interim, however, although I’m not sure about 40% for either Labour or the Tories. These may be summits that neither scale again. That said, it’s nice to see that we’re not a million miles away from each other on where we think the two parties will end up at the next election.

    By the way, I never had you down as an inhabitant of cloud cuckoo land anyway! That’s a strange and crowded domain where people talk endlessly about foolproof psephological models and the 1992 election :-)

    I think the Tories will benefit from economic good news, at a macro level at least, the incumbency benefits and Ed M’s personality.
    I expect to see a further ‘swing back’ of another 5% to the Blues.

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