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. @ Andy

    “In the 2014 Victoria state election the Green Party won two lower house seats, one safe from Labour and one marginal from Liberal.”

    Your long post is very interesting. But you should be cautious about confusing crossover in FPTP pre-election polls and tactical voting in transferable vote elections. Ironically, switching VI in a FPTP poll is more likely to be drivin by ideology (“I’m probably voting green this time because Labour betrayed my values”). While the actual distribution of preferences in an STV election is often tactical (I’m a support of the Victoria Liberal Party because of right wing values but I preferenced the far left Greens above Labour trying to deny Labour a majority of seats.”)

    Add to this that the far right in Australia is extremely fragmented, giving the three major parties all kinds of options to “preference whisper” and you are really on a the weirdest planet in the modern electoral universe.

    I sense that you are a Green supporter and I’m sympathetic too. But Australian distribution of preferences tell us nothing about UK VI unless the UK adopts an equally bizarre system.

  2. I suspect Labour HQ are quite happy at the news their competitiors created about it as well!

  3. @ Postageincluded

    I certainly agree that it is difficult to know what to make of CVI numbers. Bear in mind that the question is asked after the SVI one. The order of questions is (I paraphrase): (1) Are you going to vote in May? (2) Who are you going to vote for? and then (3) “And thinking specifically about your own constituency and the candidates who are likely to stand there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for in your own constituency at the next general election?” (Exact quote).

    In many ways it is a leading question encouraging respondents to react differently from their first impulse. The issue under discussion is whether this moves them closer to ‘normal voting behaviour’ or whether it distorts their responses.

    So, all the complications your raise are likely to be important.

    Too early to say, but CVI/SVI may be a bit of an interesting dead-end.

    Perhaps so. But my concern is that is has already become an instrisic part ot two influential projection models (both of which Anthony will probably report on in his weekly summary this evening).

    It is not as if it is just an interesting experiment to see which form of words works better. Without much debate it has already been built into the models and is therefore likely to be influencing the way people think about the potential outcomes of the election.

  4. In interviews about his book ‘Rich’, John Kampfner pinpoints the rehabilitation that has occurred for the reputations of the US ‘Robber Barons’, following their ‘philanthropic’ endowments. Few now remember the appalling histories of Rockafeller, Carnegie et al.

  5. “WASP “White, Anglo Saxon, Protestant”.

    Commonly used in the States, not non-PC.”

    The term WASP was common a generation ago but is rapidly disappearing from US politics. It was originally a way of distinguishing Those of English heritage from other European-Americans (especially the Irish and Italians). It implied superiority and privilege. Jack Kennedy was the first non-WASP president and that was a big deal back then.

    Now that the ethnic cleavages that drive US politics have moved on to other distinctions, European Americans are seen as a single ethnic group. So you still hear them referred to as “white” but the ASP is no longer relevant.

  6. I am very confident that the public don’t really care one iota about the colour of the Harriet Harman’s batmobile.

    People may have a view, but that doesn’t mean it translates into a significant change of potential vote.

    If someone wasn’t going to vote Labour before, it will not enourage them to vote Labour.

    If they were voting Labour already, I don’t think it will put them off.

  7. Pthiers

    Thanks for the info on the old WASP acronym.

  8. @Catmanjeff

    Agreed. I’m not sure it’s a vote winner.

    But the poll was a bit more encouraging from a Harman perspective.

    People were agreeing with a proposition along the lines of it being a ‘positive initiative and eye-catching’.

  9. @ DrMibbles

    You said:

    ” Labour will lift a little as soft Green support melts back to them, heading toward 34-37.”

    How do you explain:

    You Gov 9-10 YouGov Lab 35 – Green 8
    Ipsos-Mori 8-10 Labour 36 – Green 7

    You Gov 8-9, 10-11, 11-12 Lab 33, 33, 34 – Green 7

    Now look at UKIP:

    You Gov 9 -10 UKIP 13, with Conservative on 33%

    You Gov 10-11 and 11-12 UKIP 15, with Conservative on 32 then 31

    YouGov 9-10, the only other factor at play is LD is at 6

    This could all be margin of error stuff, but I think the flow of votes in this election is more complex than you make it out to be in your post.

    You make the assumption that Green increase in support flowed from Labour, which is not an accurate assessment in my opinion.

    In this election if Conservative vote goes down could choose to go Green rather than to Labour as some LD support has already done that.

    Likewise I suspect there is a flow of votes between UKIP and Green, especially in the inner city among low income and low level of education voters.

    Would make claim that some issue such as living wage, public housing and public transit have crossover with UKIP demographic and some Conservative voters who had previously used the Con party as a protest vote against Labour.

    This was likely true for some LD vote in some urban seats.

  10. @ Pthiers

    “European Americans are seen as a single ethnic group.”

    Are you sure that for example American Jewish people with German ancestry and Jewish people with East-European ancestry consider themselves the same ethnic group?

    Would the Skull and Bones Society think that all European Americans are one ethnic group?

    Do commodity traders think that when recruiting partners?

  11. @Pthiers

    You are right about the quirkiness of electoral systems but look beyond the Australian ATV, German MMP and include the Nelson-Creston FPTP as a total cross-comparison.

    There is a commmon thread of some centre-right voters opting for Green instead of social democrat, even though the Australian Green Party is to the left of Labour like the UK party is to the left of Labour.

    Look at my reply to DrMibbles at 5.32 PM

  12. Catmanjeff

    “If someone wasn’t going to vote Labour before, it will not enourage them to vote Labour.
    If they were voting Labour already, I don’t think it will put them off”

    I agree. It smacks of the usual kind of election stunt that all parties do from time to time, on the basis that any publicity is good publicity. I have never seen any evidence that they affect votes.

    The only marginal effect may be in Scotland, where Labour desperately need to attract back some of the Yes vote, among whom the Patronising BT Lady episode still has resonance.

    Even among them, however, it is more likely to reinforce the decision to vote SNP, rather than move the choice of any waverers.

    It does make for lots of jokes though.

  13. George Eaton of the New Statesman has tweeted this ‘New ComRes poll of 40 Con-Lab marginals gives Labour a nine-point lead (40-31), compared to 37-37 in 2010.’ He also says the 4.5% swing shown is fitting the national pattern seen in average of current polls. Can’t find a link to full details of the poll through.

  14. You make the assumption that Green increase in support flowed from Labour, which is not an accurate assessment in my opinion.

    This week, this is where YG show the Green vote to be from:

    0.5% – 2010 Con
    1.4% – 2010 Lab
    3.5% – 2010 LD
    1.9% – Others

    7.3% – Total

    2010 Labour voters make up 1.4% of Conservative VI and 1.7% of UKIP VI.

    So Lab – Grn voters isn’t a huge problem for Labour, it’s a tiny one.

  15. @Oldnat

    Thanks for link.

    It’s very good :-)

  16. @Answer=42 and @Assiduosity

    Philanthropic giving in the US is *extremely* tax efficient. You declare your philanthropy in your annual tax return, and not only are you not taxed on the amount you gave that year, that amount is counted against your tax return in perpetuity. So very unlike the UK where charitable giving is seen as simply throwing money at something, which is why large-scale charitable donations are so comparatively rare. As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    Also, charitable giving was/is a way of assimilating immigrants (every group has its church/mosque/temple and associated charities), and in lieu of the state, since the welfare state in the US more threadbare than even here.

  17. ComRes/ITV poll report

    We polled 1004 people from the 40 closest Labour/Conservative swing seats across England and Wales – the places where this election will be won and lost – and despite being almost neck and neck nationally, in the marginal seats Labour is much further ahead.

    40% of voters are saying that they intend to vote Labour, compared to 31% Conservative.

    Ukip are still beating the Liberal Democrats to third place – on 15% versus just 8%. And the Greens are on 5%.

  18. @Unicorn

    I see your point, and as you are obviously a “models” man I take it that you know what you’re talking about there. The problem for me, as an observer, is that there are many other decisions being made by modellers and pollsters (UKIP prompts for example) whhich influence the headline polls and the narrative and I am not expert enough (or energetic enough) to decide who has the best take. I resolved some time ago that just accepting everyone is doing their best and don’t discount say Unpopulus, or Comedy Result for their methodology. I just look at the median results for the week on the assumpion that it excludes the whacky ones!

    On the other hand I wouldn’t much mind if modellers were giving the LDs a false sense of security.

  19. The YouGov poll on the Pink Van is just a pop up one which is self selecting rather than a properly waited sample.

    So we can’t tell if more men than women like it or indeed if Labour supporters like it because Labour are doing it and Tories say it is patronising because Labour are doing it.

    In short it’s meaningless.



    Thanks, what is the url for that source

  21. @OLDNAT

    What did these Comres/ITV figures look like in November?

  22. Andy Shadrack

    Changes since Nov

    CON – 31% (-)
    LAB – 40% (+1)
    UKIP – 15% (-3)
    LDEM – 8% (+1)
    GRN – 5% (+1)

    Tables available here


    I think you draw the net too widely in including ” financial services” . We both know that is sector includes activities & services which everyone uses. It is s certainly very important for the economy. I doubt very much whether the general public perceive the sector-by that name” as a pariah in the way you suggest.

    It goes without saying that ” Bankers” & “Banking” , however, trigger general antipathy ( of course poll respondents are never invited to consider the meaninglessness of the term”.

    Yes-they certainly present political ammunition for any politician with a soap box , looking for a few votes just now.
    IPSOS Mori’s “Trust in Professions” survey of 2013 showed “Bankers” at -54 , just above Journalists , who were ahead of the least trusted profession, Politicians at -59.

    So I guess the “effectiveness” of weaponised “Bankers” in the hands of a given politician depends on his/her own credibility & trustworthiness.


    Yes-I know what it means.

    I just failed to understand why you mentioned it. The discussion in question was to do with class prejudice in USA-not Colour prejudice , or Sectarian prejudice.

  25. Good Evening All.
    Half Term here in Dorset, and Ed M must be feeling a little less unconfident this weekend, quite surprisingly.

    Thanks BM11 and OLD NAT for the marginal seat stats.

  26. @ Oldnat, BM 11.

    The Comres poll of marginals indicates a 4.5% swing for the constituencies polled. The current national swing to Lab, assuming a current Lab lead of 1.5%-2%, is virtually the same.


    I can update that MORI “Trust in Professions” t last December:-

    Politicians still bottom at -64 ( -2)
    Bankers up to 5th from bottom at -34 ( +10) !!!

  28. Colin,

    But if the perception was that almost all the poor working class were African Americans and lots of the upper class Jewish it could well be difficult to distinguish fact from prejudice. If people ethic or religious background influences their perception of class then that is something you need to factor in.

    I may well be that middle class white Americans don’t have a hang up about the rich but working class African Americans might perceive them as “The Man”

    It sort of depends which American your talking about.


  29. PETER

    Of course.

    I suppose you could ask the same question of UK-which British people have a hang up about privately educated , wealthy people from the “upper class”?

  30. @OLDNAT

    Thanks, it would be interesting to throw some LD marginals into the mix and see what happens then.

    LD at 11% in London must be in trouble there and that is their highest support in all English and Wales regions

    UKIP at 20%-21% in Midlands and 18%-22% in Eastern and the South East, and at 18% in Labour marginals.

  31. Amber,

    “And if you’d dug a little deeper you’d know that many of the issues which disproportionately affect women aren’t even listed in issues polling. That’s one of the problems which women have with ‘politics as usual’!”

    The Mori index is open, it doesn’t use a list, people are free to put down what they want, so unless you are suggesting that women who do it deliberately don’t mention issues that concern them your argument falls apart and even then it would only just stand as a silly argument.

    As to ignoring that, repeatedly over years, the index has shown that the top ten issues for both sexes are largely the same because a “Man” pointed out, well that pretty much fits with your perennial theme;



  32. @Colin

    It’s not just MORI who have expressed the lack of confidence in the ‘banking sector’.

    This YouGov-Cambridge Symposium from 2013 goes into some detail on the matter.

    I remain unconvinced that the public doesn’t understand the term ‘financial services’. when applied to a sector. Many people will work in it or know people that do and understand that it encompasses insurance, lenders, pension providers and so on.

    When tested globally by the likes of Edelman and Mintel, their findings are that there is negligible to no difference in the perception of banking versus financial services. Both are equally bad.

    Unfortunately they don’t publish detailed methodologies (apart from for the benefit of their paying clients one supposes).

    On the point that the person making the accusation needs to have more credibility than those they are accusing, possibly, but one shouldn’t discount the public’s capacity for cognitive dissonance.

    Simply because politicians are generally disliked more than wealthy financiers it doesn’t mean that attacks by former on the latter cannot be politically advantageous.

    We shall of course see whether any of this is true if the stories continue to run in the polling, some of which I am sure will be focused on these issues.

  33. – and despite being almost neck and neck nationally, in the marginal seats Labour is much further ahead.

    If it wasn’t courtesy of Comedy Result, this poll would be a “corker”. ;-)


    Thanks for the information.


    The term is/was used for the rich. I am WAS from a P family but I don’t qualify!

  35. There’s a Comres marginals poll showing a Con-Lab swing of 4.5% (Lab 40 Con 31). Lab +1 since the last Comres poll of these seats.

  36. Ah…I see others beat me too it. In my defence some of us work for a living ;)

  37. @Colin

    Thanks for the update.

    At 31% that means that bankers are still trusted by half as many people as ‘the average man or woman on the street’.

    90% trust doctors. 86% teachers. 49% NHS managers, surely pariahs of sections of the media if ever there were.

    Only journalists, estate agents, government ministers and politicians generally finish below.

    Full chart

    Interesting note for those politicians keen to align with business leaders is that only 32% trust that group.

    One does also wonder how this week will affect those figures.

  38. @Andy

    I collate the data from each week’s YG polls on my own spreadsheet.

    I don’t rely on one poll, I use an average over the week to smooth out the poll to poll variation

  39. Mitt Romney is a Mormon but fulfils a similar stereotype of an out of touch rich man. That probably cost him an election, even in the USA.

    Whether it should is not the issue here as we are talking about what lies behind polling.


    You don’t need to convince me that “bankers” are not flavour of the month-though I found their recent improvement on “trust” levels in the MORI Professions Index interesting.

    Can headlines influence perceptions?

    Anyway-I think we both anticipate that EM will milk this for all it is worth , and we will see where it gets him.

    A cautionary note for him though. The FT has been politically inclined to the Left. I saw a news snippet just a day or two ago. EM was at lunch with their journalists . It didn’t go well reportedly , because he became angry at suggestions that he is increasingly “anti-business”.

  41. Where can we read about Colin ? Do you have a link to the exact piece please ?

  42. Tsk, where can we read about that (lunch meeting) Colin, not read about Colin !

  43. Iceland, happily, is pro-business but anti crooks.

    “Iceland jails Kaupthing bankers for market manipulation”

  44. ON
    “It does make for lots of jokes though.”

    Yeah? You got any links to any?

  45. @ Lazlo,

    Are you sure that for example American Jewish people with German ancestry and Jewish people with East-European ancestry consider themselves the same ethnic group?

    In my experience they do, but they consider Christians of German or Polish ancestry to be separate ethnic groups from them (although all folded into the “white” umbrella). It’s a bit like the Soviet concept of ethnicity where “Jewish” counted as a single nationality whether you were from Vilnius or Moscow.

  46. The FT of course was one of the few newspapers to back Neil Kinnock in 1992, in a rather weird move for them. And speaking of, they were up in our campaign HQ today interviewing our candidate.

  47. @Laszlo

    When I said that European Americans are now a single ethnic group, I was not referring to their self identification or social identification, only the categories that politic analysts and politicians take seriously. White is now a single vertical cleavage in political discourse. The horizontal of rich whites and poor whites is still used. But I think class is of even less use than it was in LBJ’s day. A rich Mormon just won the confederacy, fer crying out loud. Watching Romney try to identify with poor whites was pretty damn funny. But he did pull it off, primarily by appealing to anti-black and anti-Latino sentiment.

    Sorry to diverge into US politics. But it is always interesting to reflect on a political system where votes are not divided by class.

  48. @ Spearmint

    Thanks. It was a genuine question. A rather elite Jewish family (immigrating from Germany in the 1860s) spoke in such a way of Jews whose ancestors immigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century (also Orthodox) as if they were a different species let alone ethnic group.

    You are right about the Soviet classification of ethnicity. Also probably it was good willing as a bureaucratic plan, becoming a way of discrimination (certainly in the 1980s).

  49. New Fred.

  50. pthiers,

    Is it true that when Americans talk about ‘middle class’ people they mean what we would call ‘working class’? I get most of my knowledge of the USA by watching The Simpsons, so am quite prepared to be wrong.

    If I’m right, it is something that could cause confusion when comparing social and political issues between the UK and US.

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