The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out and has topline figures of CON 34%(+1), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 6%(-2), UKIP 9%(-2), GRN 7%(-1). MORI tend to give UKIP some of their lower figures anyway, but this is the first poll from any company to put UKIP down in single figures since September last year. This is only one poll though, as ever, it’s important to look at the wider picture.

Watching the trend is UKIP support is difficult because of the big contrasts between pollsters and the way they have had to adapt their methods to account for the new kid on the block. So for example, Opinium’s latest poll had UKIP on 15%, their lowest level since August… but they had introduced new political weighting that reduced UKIP support, so this wasn’t necessarily a “real” fall. Populus too have had UKIP at around 15% so far this month, but for them that’s higher than in previous months. That isn’t necessary a “real” increase either though, as they’ve changed their weighting in a way that increases UKIP support.

Chopping and changing and contrasting methods makes it very difficult to see the underlying trend. Given the way that many companies (YouGov, Ashcroft, ComRes and Populus) have switched to including UKIP in their main prompt in recent months, MORI, ICM and Survation are actually the only companies NOT to have some sort of change to how they measure UKIP support. Looking at them, MORI now have UKIP at 9%, compared to 11% last month, 13% in Dec, 14% in Nov and 16% in October. ICM’s poll last month had UKIP at 11%, compared to 14-15% between October and December, but only 9-10% last Summer. Survation still had them at 23% last month, but they had them as high as 25% earlier last year.

Accepting all the methodological changes (which apart from Opinium have been changes likely to help, rather than hinder UKIP) and just taking monthly averages of all polls suggests a slight drop in UKIP support since their peak in the Autumn. Their highest monthly average so far was 16.1% in October, following the Clacton by-election and Mark Reckless’s defection, in November it was 16%, in December 15.5%, in January 15.2%. A slight trend, but certainly nothing to get too excited or distraught about, and given the changes in methodology it’s difficult to know how meaningful it is.

458 Responses to “Latest MORI poll and the UKIP trend”

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  1. @ Pithers,

    You can still subdivide them into politically meaningful demographic groups, though.

    In contrast with the white electorate as a whole which leans Republican, Jews who are a sort of merged ethnic/religious grouping lean Democratic. I believe white Catholics (who are standing in by proxy for Irish/Italian/Polish Americans as opposed to English/German/Scots Irish Americans) tend to as well, although this is partly a matter of geography, as the Northern cities are more heavily Catholic and the Republican South is Protestant.

    US political scientists don’t treat whites as an ethnically homogenous block, they just tend to use religion rather than country of ancestry as the explicit criterion for splitting them up.

  2. T OH
    I do not have any antipathy towards very wealthy people. As far as I am concerned they are pinko-grey or occasionally brown people sitting on top of a a great pyramid of lolly. It’s the lolly I obect to, or rather what happens to it in terms of the public good. Either it is distributed by taxation or by investment in industry, or it ispent on paying regiments of lawyers and accountants, or it trickles down and out to employ public school headmasters and matrons, hotel maids, cooks on luxury yachts or other similarly productive workers. I just dislike the present system which rather seems to me to militate against just taxation and investment, and to favour a rather shadowy and laborynthine world of waste and extravagence of barely comprehensible purchase of polo ponies, membership of expensive and exclusive clubs and disappearance over the blue horizon on ridiculously luxurious yachts. I am not remotely prejudiced against the life style of others, but am conscious of bias towards redistribution towards too great a proportion of the population dependent on payday loans and food banks, which I assume trickle down or tax and investment, one or the other, should be addressed to eliminating.

  3. @ Pthiers

    Paul Fussell and probably all sociologists would describe the U.S. society as a class society.

    I actually think that people’s self definition is more important than bureaucratic categories in understanding opinions, unless latter involves things like wearing a yellow star and alike, or if you want the treatment of Roma children in the enlightened European Union (e.g. Not burying one because the parents were not taxpayers – France; not allowing a very talented one to join a grammar school, because it would upset the parents of other kids – Hungary).

  4. @ Pete B,

    Sort of. The US middle class is essentially B-C2 on the NRS social grade scale, so it’s really more that the “Middle class” window has been shifted down a bit. As would generally be considered upper class.

  5. @Mr N

    Keynesian economics (or should that be just “economics”?) was what guided the FT to its position. They made the judgement that the economy as a whole would benefit from more spending and more redistribution, and said so, despite their readership’s distaste at the suggestion, and respect to them for putting scientific analysis ahead of personal gain.

    I get the impression that opinion is now more mixed at the pink un, but I wouldn’t be astounded if they came out for Labour again

  6. @Pete B

    Spearmint answered your question better than I can. I would only add that “Middle Class” identification in the US is based on lifestyle and consumption, not income. Low prices and easy credit create lots of opportunities for people on lower incomes to identify themselves as middle class. I’m always taken by how little my US students know about real class inequality in their own country.

    Also I agree with Spearment that sociologists and political scientists looking at many questions still use ethnic demographics. And, of course, cross-breaks are important for pollsters. I was really just trying to convey that terms like WASP or Italian-American have given way to terms like White and Latino in political discourse and popular analysis of political outcomes.

  7. Bramley

    It was one of those small reports , somewhere in The Times , a few days ago.

  8. Alec,
    Agreed,didn’t Crosby say that a day not focused on the economy was a wasted day.

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