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. Not that the Welsh numbers affect GB polls much, but it will be interesting to see if PC are up and UKIP down in a poll which can identify such matters.

  2. Ukip doomed, no they’re not, arrgh. The only regular poll is yougov and ukipnhave dipped slightly but are quiet stable at 14 or15%.

  3. Plaid at 2% in “the Midlands” : SNP at 54% in Scotland.

    What a “corker”!!! (although quite meaningless)

  4. Old Nat
    First again!!! Do you pay AW for prior warning of a new thread?
    On the positive side, at least its not another Scottish poll.

  5. Perhaps they mis read it as Plaice not Plaid, we do like our fish in the Midlands.

  6. @John J – I think Helena Bonham C has been posing naked with a big fish for some reason. Could be right up your street.

  7. @OldNat

    On the likelyhood to vote weighting.

    Scottish crossbreaks:

    Con 15%
    Lab 26%
    LibDems 2% (looks about right)
    SNP 56%
    Greens 1% (low)
    UKIP 0% (a bit high)

  8. @Oldnat

    I saw 56%…what table should I be looking at?

  9. Statgeek

    Which table? Since the numbers don’t tell us much other than SNP done good, I’m not sure it matters. :-)

  10. Watching the news just now i see that EdM has withdrawn the use of the word “Dodgy” in respect of Lord Fink’s tax affairs. This was the word Lord Fink was taking exception to, so score draw I think.

  11. Looking back through the Ipsos Mori monthly polls, they do seem to be erratic to say the least. Pushing the boundaries even of margin of error at certain times in comparison to what the other companies have been showing and bearing in mind observed ‘house effects’

    Not only do we have the fairly significant apparent decline in UKIP support not mirrored elsewhere. But Labour have twice polled in the high 20s (followed by a ‘surge to 36%?) and the fluctuation in share of the vote split between the two largest parties has been very marked.

    All these caveats aside. Looked across the piece, is it now possible to determine a small upward trend for both Labour and Conservative? And if this is the case, does it seem to being spread almost evenly between the two?

    Probably too soon to say, but this could be interesting in terms of conventional models of ‘swingback’.

  12. Of more interest are the English figures.

    Con 38% : Lab 37% : UKIP 10% : Grn 8% : LD 7%

  13. The Other Howard
    I did not dare get involved in the self congratulation at the tail end of the last thread. Anyone would think that the Fraud Squad had completed a dawn raid on Lord Fink house and thrown him in the Tower of London. “Fink has backed down” they said, well maybe Labour has as well. For his family’s sake, I hope Milibands own affairs are in order, they will need to be.

  14. Yep- Ukip trends are certainly well worth watching.

    On the last thread, @John Pilgrim wrote:

    Applied to the behaviour of Labkippers and Conkippers, both clearly coming home to mummy, I do surmise that Labkippers are the more likely to turn up at the door..

    It seems to me that there might be something in this. A common assumption seems to be that if Ukip VI doesn’t stick, then support will flow back to other parties in direct proportion to their provenance. On this assumption, a Ukip downturn would support Tories more than Labour and so on. However, there have recently been some straws in the wind to suggest that it may not play out quite like this. If I remember correctly, @CMJ’s most recent (very small scale) churn analysis showed Ukip VI going equally to Labour and Tories. Also a graph posted by @Statgeek (or was it @NC?) seemed to show that the recent Ukip dip seems to be concentrated in the North of England (and so a region where Labour are more likely to be the beneficiaries).

    Adopting another perspective, trend analysis shows that the Ukip VI is currently about 1.4% below its 2014 trend line. On a simple Ukip->Tory hypothesis one would expect to see the Tories moving further above trend than Labour. In fact, both are just a miniscule amount above trend: Conservatives – +0.35% & Labour – +0.20%, and the main overt beneficiaries are the LibDems (+0.79%). Obviously the published VIs represent the outcome of complex churn between parties, and I am not suggesting that Ukip voters are flowing to LD.

    The more important point is that the Conservatives don’t seem to be the overwhelming beneficiaries of any recent falterings there might be to Ukip progress.

  15. ToH, Roland

    The best things for the Tories to do would be to shut up about it. They are just keeping the story going now.

  16. The Other Howard
    EM never directly called Fink dodgy and Fink didn’t even mention the word dodgy in his letter:

    Dear Mr. Miliband,

    Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, you alleged that I had undertaken ‘tax avoidance activities’ in Switzerland: ‘Let’s take Stanley Fink who gave £3 million to the Conservative Party. He actually appointed him as Treasurer of the Tory Party and gave him a peerage for good measure. So now can he explain what steps he is going to take to find out about the tax avoidance activities of Lord Fink?’

    This allegation is untrue and defamatory.

    These are the facts:

    I was posted by the Man Group to run their office in Switzerland for four years from 1996 until 2000.

    During this time I had need of a local bank account to do simple things like receive my Swiss Franc salary and pay grocery bills.

    As I already banked with HSBC in London, I set up an account with HSBC. I subsequently set up an account with Credit Suisse as they had a branch much closer to my home and office.

    I submitted tax returns in both Switzerland and Britain showing my revised tax status, which was accepted by the Inland Revenue.

    I find it extraordinary that you have made claims against me that are without foundation or without contacting me.

    I challenge you to repeat your allegation outside the House of Commons – or to withdraw it publically.

    Yours sincerely,

    Lord Fink of Northwood

    He specifically took exception to the tax avoidance allegation, which is what EM repeated today. Funnily enough Fink has tried to pretend that isn’t what he said (presumably because he’s taken legal advice in the mean time).

  17. HAWTHORN (FORMERLY LURKER)

    I think both sides should shut up about it, it’s now yesterdays story.

    As Lord Fink said “we all do it”, and he got EM to withdraw the word “dodgy” in respect of himself, and he is happy about that as he says in the statement he has just made.

  18. AW – any reason this is still in mod on the previous thread?
    Ta.
    I’m not too familiar with Oborne – the Speccy isn’t normally required reading hereabouts. Does anyone have a measure of his influence? As a Mark2 Lurker, I value this site when it does facts and mumbers. Polemicists are well served elsewhere. (And some of elsewhere has better ones!)

  19. (And somehow I don’t think Lord Fink is half so happy as the Labour Party to have a Conservative Treasurer on record saying “We are all tax avoiders”.)

  20. Spearmint

    To make it clear to those who are not up to date with the news that it is old news now. There, done & dusted.

    :-)

  21. Farage talking in the press about the other parties being scared of UKIP holding the balance of power.

    I suppose he has to say that.

    But UKIP actually look very unlikely to hold a balance of power.

    I have never seen them getting more than 6/8 seats. And 4 or 5 might even be more than they eventually get. Might UKIP end up with just 2 seats?

  22. @TOH

    “we all do it”

    I have omitted to setup any offshore trusts. Still, I always saw myself as a bit of a maverick.

  23. “The best things for the Tories to do would be to shut up about it. They are just keeping the story going now”

    The thing that amazes me is the extraordinary extent to which some people can’t see beyond their bias when it comes to politics.

    That an extraordinarily rich man uses methods to avoid tax, that he can both comfortably afford and would clearly benefit the UK, other than through perfectly legal savings schemes, is bad enough.

    That he then donates millions to a political party in order to influence politics in this country is unacceptable.

    I am also quite clear that the whole funding arrangements for all parties is dreadful but I am hoping that the new arrangements with TU funding develop will improve things in the Labour party.

    What is needed, as with general UK governance, is a thorough re-think of the way politics works in this country.

  24. OLDNAT
    Of more interest are the English figures.
    Con 38% : Lab 37% : UKIP 10% : Grn 8% : LD 7%
    …..

    I “Fink” them figures are very interesting

    …………..but!

    not as interesting as them figures

    Con 15% Lab 26% LibDems 2% SNP 56% Lab 26%

    I Fink!

  25. GUYMONDE

    No ISA’s?

  26. toh

    “To make it clear to those who are not up to date with the news that it is old news now. There, done & dusted.”

    Oh jolly good.

    To be utterly clear though, are you referring to Ole Lord Fink saying:

    “We are all tax avoiders”

    when 90+% of our population would have no idea how to effect this or something else.

    I just want to be sure I am fully dusted on this matter.

  27. “The thing that amazes me is the extraordinary extent to which some people can’t see beyond their bias when it comes to politics”
    ____

    This lecturing is preposterous in all its entirety.

    pot kettle or as we say in da hood #peopleinglasshousesya’all

  28. And here are the results from all 28 members of the Welsh CTV jury –

    Lab 33% : Con 21% : Plaid 18% : LD 7% : Grn 7% : UKIP 7%

  29. Enough Fink v Miliband comments please, I don’t think we need another display of people’s predictable biases.

  30. In the real world the majority of our population struggle to get through the month without having to extend their borrowing commitments.

    The idea that just about everybody takes out ISAs – a perfectly innocent savings scheme available in the UK – is clearly incorrect, never mind the fact that it is ludicrous to compare that innocent activity with sorting out high finance when you’re a millionaire in Switzerland – or anywhere else.

    As the BBC commentator just said – this plays very badly for the conservative party.

    I’ll be surprised if it is not reflected in the weekend’s polls.

  31. Some very bad individual issue polls in the ComRes ITV poll for the Tories.
    They lead Lab 36-24 on trusted to promote Economic Growth, but trail Lab 28-25 on “look after your family’s financial situation” and (more predictably) 29-23 on “ensure economic benefits are felt by all”. Those are pretty dire numbers for a government which is basically running a single issue campaign on economic competence.

    Lab also extended their gap on the NHS to 35-21.

  32. Well I was close.

    If you put SNP 56%, Lab 26%, Tory 15%, LibDem 2%, and GRN 1% into Anthony’s advanced calculator the SNP get 58 out of 59 seats!

    It won’t happen in May but it is close to a Corker!

    Peter.

  33. @ rosieanddaisie

    The thing that amazes me is the extraordinary extent to which some people can’t see beyond their bias when it comes to politics.

    […]

    I couldnt agree more.

    The whole idea that Left wing or Right wing policies are always the appropriate course of action is a nonsense.

    There are times when – if they must have a label – ‘Conservative’ policies are the right way to go about something. And there are times when ‘Labour’ policies are the right way to go about something.

    And the lengths people will go to – the crimes they will endorse! – in order to ‘support’ their tribe never ceases to amaze me.

    Party politics, folk would do well to remember, is a human construction. Not a God-given fact of life. And the sooner it is gone, replaced with government for the good regardless of whether a particular policy is left/right/centre, the better!

    (And that nails my wholly neutral colours firmly to the mast).

  34. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    I’m guessing the one seat the SNP failed to win was Glasgow North East?

    I can see the headlines in the Scotsman.

    “Catastrophic poll for the Nats sees them losing Glasgow North East”
    by out political correspondent David Maddox.

  35. Allan Christie

    Spot on – on both counts!

  36. @Unicorn

    “A common assumption seems to be that if Ukip VI doesn’t stick, then support will flow back to other parties in direct proportion to their provenance. On this assumption, a Ukip downturn would support Tories more than Labour and so on. However, there have recently been some straws in the wind to suggest that it may not play out quite like this.”

    “On a simple Ukip->Tory hypothesis one would expect to see the Tories moving further above trend than Labour. In fact, both are just a miniscule amount above trend: Conservatives – +0.35% & Labour – +0.20%, and the main overt beneficiaries are the LibDems (+0.79%). ”

    I was rather hoping that there may be some actual detail in the trend figures to support my surmise from the headlines.

    It seems, for the moment at least, that the received wisdom, namely that UKIP votes essentially ‘belong’ to the Conservatives and will return there if there is any decline in UKIP’s fortunes is perhaps misplaced and this group of mobilised voters may in fact spread themselves more widely.

    My suspicions have been aroused by the infrequent Welsh polls, which aren’t often given much attention. They show Labour, Plaid Cymru and Conservatives largely flat (some Conservative decline) since 2010, but with a Lib Dem collapse and gains by both UKIP and Greens.

    The Welsh electorate may well be exceptional, like the Scots, and I’m not convinced by the idea of a straight mass defection from Lib Dem to UKIP, but the figures could reveal much more complex pattern of voter dispersal than is often posited.

    If, again, if this is the case, then the notion of a uniform swingback to the Conservatives from UKIP at least may not be as likely as some think.

  37. The polls suggest to me that the next election will be the messiest and the most acrimonious in living memory. Any “horse-trading” will be protracted and unlikely to reach a conclusion.

    My prediction is that there will be another election in the Autumn with a change of leadership in the two main parties and even that may not solve the problem

  38. @ Rhywun,

    Peter Oborne is a conservative contrarian who hates the mushy centre, the professionalisation of politics, and the Murdoch empire. He also for unrelated and inexplicable reasons likes Bashar al-Assad.

    Since Ed Miliband is unpopular with the media and the public, less centrist and professional than his predecessors, an enemy of Murdoch, and unenthusiastic about bombing Syria without clear objectives, he’s pretty much Oborne’s dream Labour leader. This doesn’t have any profound significance. People who like Miliband find it refreshing and vindicating; people who dislike him think this it’s another example of Oborne being profoundly and stupidly wrong as he is about Assad.

    Since Cameron is popular with the media and the electorate, a mushy centrist by Tory standards, professional, in Murdoch’s pocket, and enthusiastic about bombing Syria, Oborne is not a fan. In fact he’s a vocal critic, and as far as I can tell this means he has no influence at all in Conservative circles, at least not the Chipping Norton ones. I’m not sure what the other wings of the party think of him. But he’s a very unreliable ally so I doubt anyone is putting too much effort into wooing him.

  39. For the second time, enough Fink v Miliband comments. I don’t want us to get into a debates over each others views on tax avoidance. Stick to polling, electoral and public opinion discussion please – not each others political views.

  40. @Unicorn

    “Also a graph posted by @Statgeek (or was it @NC?) seemed to show that the recent Ukip dip seems to be concentrated in the North of England (and so a region where Labour are more likely to be the beneficiaries).”

    See my six-poll averages. Start with the UK chart, and take in what has happened to UK since October. Then look at each region. My analysis:

    UK – A gentle drop from almost 17% down to almost 14% since November.

    London – Treading water between 10% and 15%.

    Rest of the South – A fairly large drop of 5% from 21% to 16% over the period. This is a loss of 25% of UKIP’s VI here, and to the Conservatives, it seems.

    Midlands & Wales – Seemed to be up and down (simple averaging can be like that). Looks like it has dropped 3-4% since mid-January to around 16%.

    North – Dipped from mid to high teens, to under 15% in November…regained a little but dipped back under 15% again recently.

    Scotland – Peaked at 6% over the Christmas period. Otherwise woeful North of the border, and any maintained VI over 5% will be noteworthy.

    Given that the RoS is a third of the UK data, then 5% there is about 1.66% in the UK, and is about a half to two thirds of UKIP’s national losses. Say about 0.75% in the Mids and Wales, and the rest being mostly the North.

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/polling/periodic-averages/six-poll-averages/

  41. @Spearmint

    “Since Cameron is popular with the media and the electorate, a mushy centrist”

    Are you absolutely sure about that? Certainly more so than Miliband, I admit, but he’s treated with something bordering on disdain by the Daily Mail and one or two other traditional pro-Tory newspapers and there’s nothing that I can see in most of the polling that he’s particularly popular with the electorate. His personal ratings are really quite underwhelming. I’m not sure he’s greatly loved by his own MPs either.

    Taking all this in the round, and forgetting Mr Oborne’s esoteric preferences, it’s Cameron’s lack of appeal amongst the media, his own MPs and the voters that’s keeping Miliband so firmly in the game.

    I remain baffled by this persisting illusion that he’s a popular political figure.

  42. AW

    Sorry, just read you last post. No more comments from me today. I was just trying to ensure understanding.

  43. @Allan

    “Catastrophic poll for the Nats sees them losing Glasgow North East” by out political correspondent David Maddox.

    I would have preferred:

    “Willie Bain seizes control of Scottish Labour”

    :))

  44. AW — this is a post about the possible effect of EM’s recent statements on the polls, so I hope you will let it go through…
    The last time EM went on the attack like this was over phone-hacking.
    At the time, I remember that the concensus here was that this resulted in slight, and short-lived improvement in Labour VI in the polls.
    I wonder if this second round of attack-mode might have a similar effect?
    If not, it might suggest that unlike us, people are not listening, or bothered!

  45. @Spearmint
    Ta. I thought/guessed he was a professional contrarian. But does he have a following outside the ‘home’ counties hell-holes in more thoughtful parts? Otherwise why does the Speccy use him?

  46. The surprise to me is UKIP holding up as much as it has. The party’s support has held due to a constaint drip feed of Nigel Farage on TV and the two by elections.
    Since the start of the year they have, to an extent, been sidelined with first the subject of the Greens taking part in the TV debates and the the media consentrating more on the two main parties.
    Before the euro elections there was a UKIP upturn just as in the by elections, I would not write them off yet as they have shown an abilitiy to capitalise on any publicity.
    The increased publicity for the Greens in January appears to have geiven them a similar type of boost, and it will be interesting to see if they can capitalise on the extra media attention they get in the run up to polling day.

  47. @Statgeek

    Interesting stuff on the flow of votes from UKIP.

    Interesting that the Rest of South seems to be where support is declining fastest, though to be expected I suppose as quite high concentrations of UKIP VI here previously.

    Given the relatively small number of Labour target seats in the area, this may not affect seat numbers too significantly.

    What would be intriguing is to know whether this UKIP support is concentrated ‘sub-regionally’ along the East of England flank, I guess constituency polling will provide the only answers.

    A shift of 3-4% in the Midlands and Wales appears much more significant in terms of the parliamentary maths. Especially as it looks like it’s going to be harder to predict where the ex-UKIP supporters will turn. Numerous marginals, new Conservative seats and volatile voters. Quite a cocktail.

    That UKIP is staying quite so solid in the North is surprising and some constituency polling would be a great help to determine whether they are piling up VI as a new ‘opposition to Labour’ and / or throwing the balls in the air in the marginals.

  48. @ Crossbat,

    Fair points, well made. It’s the widely-held illusion of Cameron’s popularity in the Westminster media bubble that sets Oborne instinctively against him, not the reality. I suspect if Oborne took a proper look at Cameron’s approval ratings he might even find his heart softening towards him. ;)

    @ Rhywun,

    Well, he’s a Telegraph columnist really. I’m not sure why the Speccy were using him, although Fraser Nelson also seems to take the view that Cameron is a Blairite charlatan so there might be some commonality of feeling there.

    What following if any he has, I’m not sure. Oborne is sort of in the Bernard Jenkin Eurosceptic High Tory wing of the party, but that’s a pretty limited constituency these days. The Ukippy branch is probably too vulgar for him.

  49. @Bramley

    I’ve just read that Oborne article on Miliband and while he makes some good points, it’s beyond my counter-intuitive capabilities to discern why such a tribal Tory writes in such a glowing way about a Labour leader, certainly this close to a General Election.

    However, what I found immensely funny were the comments from Spectator readers below the article. To use the words fury and rage wouldn’t do justice to the tone of them. Hilarious stuff.

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