The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard is out today, with topline figures of CON 33%(-1), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 13%(+4), GRN 6%(-1). Changes are from a month ago and show little of significance – the only large movement is a four point increase for UKIP, which is likely a reversion to the mean after an odd looking 9% in last month’s poll.

The tables aren’t up on the MORI website as I write (though MORI are usually very swift, so they may well be by the time you read this) though the Standard’s write up is here. The rest of the poll seems to have largely concentrated on looking towards the budget, and has some generally positive findings for George Osborne. 56% are now saying the government are doing a good job on the economy and Osborne’s own approval rating as Chancellor is 43%. That’s high by the standards of Tory Chancellors… but lower than Gordon Brown had for almost the whole time he was at Number 11.

395 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 33, LAB 34, LD 8, UKIP 13, GRN 6”

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  1. Old Nat,

    I actually think that the Scottish Tories will actually do better than their core vote in Scotland, which is now probably about 15% for Westminster and 13% for Holyrood. A small improvement on their 2010 result would not be very surprising given the polls.

    I’m not entirely sure why this is, but one interesting point is that (as far as I know) David Cameron is the least unpopular Tory leader in Scotland since John Major in the early 1990s. I don’t put too much credence in the idea that it’s due my generation (which barely remembers Major, let alone Thatcher) being less anti-Tory than our parents, which is true to some extent in my experience, but demographics should be hurting the Tories as their most sympathetic generation dies off. I’m also not sure that Ruth Davidson has made much of a difference: David McLetchie was not a tremendous leader, but the Tories did better in the Scottish parliament under him than under Goldie, so I’m not sure a good Scottish leader makes much of a difference either way for them.

  2. Mikey

    “that would not necessarily account for them switching to the SNP.”

    Indeed that didn’t happen. While most went to the SNP, others moved to SGP and SSP – the other pro-indy parties.

    Why would they stick with Unionist parties who fought hard against what they wanted?

  3. Watching QT, which I rarely do these days, I am a little concerned that Charles Kennedy does not seem to be at his brightest and best. I’ve always quite liked him without entirely agreeing with his views. Perhaps the pressure in this election is taking its toll.

  4. Bill Patrick

    They may do better than what was previously their core vote. There has always been a significant right wing element within LD supporters, and the Tories would seem an obvious choice for some as the LDs collapse.

  5. Oldnat
    Why would they stick with Unionist parties who fought hard against what they wanted?

    Because independence is not necessarily the most salient issue for every yes voter.

  6. RMJ1

    I suspect that a number of people in Ross, Skye and Lochaber may share that sense of disappointment, and feel that public life is sadly no longer his best place.

  7. @RMJ1

    It must be a very stressful time for him. I don’t envy politicians their level of job security. If I was in that position I would avoid QT, or I’d go on QT and make myself feel better by swearing at the people with wrong opinions (most of them).

    But that is why I’m not a politician…

  8. Oldnat,

    One could add that, for the first time since the mid-1970s, the Tories are on the most popular side of the constitutional questions.

  9. Funtypippin

    Indeed – but the polling is quite clear that its salience was an extremely important factor in determining their new vote.

    You may wish otherwise, but people decide which party broadly best represents their beliefs at any particular election.

  10. RMJ1
    He’s possibly about to lose his seat, partly because his party entered a coalition he was against, and partly because a different party with a fairly similar ideology to his own is surging in popularity, so I can’t blame him for not being on top form.

  11. I have made a point of avoiding QT for what seems to be the last 5 years, but in practice is probably more.

    Ever since Dimbleby started interrupting and talking over the panelists.

    BBC journalists/broadcasters really fancy themselves.

  12. Well, Charles Kennedy’s constituency seem to be patient and forgiving people. Nothing else to be said about THAT.

    And this new poll YouGov looks like more of the same as every other Scotland poll since October. Is there ANYTHING new in it? I really was expecting some excitement in this year’s GE.

  13. Bill Patrick

    Also true. For those who are less fussed about left/right differences, or who can see relatively small differences between the Unionist parties, the Tories may seem a more secure home for a Unionist vote than the “Patriotic Party”.

  14. J. R. Tomlin

    There might well be a fair number of recounts in Scotland, and it’s always interesting to see which party England selects to govern us. :-)

  15. @J R Tomlin

    The soaring heights of 18% didn’t excite you? Are you completely devoid of emotion?

  16. @old nat
    “and it’s always interesting to see which party England selects to govern us.”

    Yes, it is always interesting, except when I’m waiting to see which Prime Minister or Chancellor Scotland has sent to govern the UK.

  17. @Barney

    “In Scotland the political atmosphere reminds me of the early 1930s Europe when Communists vilified Labour as “social fascists”.”

    Nice try Barney. If in doubt, invoke Godwin’s Law.

  18. To change the subject somewhat, here’s something that’s just occurred to me, though I suppose I’ve known it for a while. It’s interesting that the last two PMs were not really representative of their parties, and certainly not of their voters.

    i.e. I have heard Blair described as a Tory by Labour supporters, and Cameron is certainly not a traditional Tory with his running-down of defence and bringing in ‘gay’ marriage.

  19. @Pete B

    Cameron is essentially a Lib Dem with a soft spot for pensioners

  20. Statgeek
    I entered Europe at the last second. I was not meaning to invoke Godwin’s law. In fact my mind was on Aberdeen North which has been Labour since 1918 with the exception of 1931 when it fell to a Conservative helped by a Communist candidate fighting on the “social fascist” line. In fairness I think there was also an Independent Labour candidate.

  21. @AC

    “Not with you on that. I’ve not read any negative stuff on UKPR regarding JM”

    Thanks for that. Biggest laugh I’ve had all week

  22. If Kennedy came out with a public statement to the effect that there was no way he would support a further term for a Tory – led Government I have no doubt that his re-election prospects would largely fade away.

  23. Those who are real anoraks would have noticed that the Greens in Scotland are only running in about half of the constituencies. That by itself is not astonishing but if you dig deeper and look at the constituencies where they currently have no candidate, you will note a pattern. They appear to be not running candidates in rural seats currently held by the LibDems, and in seats in the West of Scotland.currently projected as close seats between Labour and SNP.

    A cynical person would deduce some kind of agreement between the Greens and SNP in those seats. If this holds, one could reasonably expect that most of the Scottish Green vote ( not all) is likely to end up in the SNP column in those seats and this may make a considerable difference in the end result.

  24. Sorry – I meant to say ‘ his re-election problems’

  25. Barney

    Aberdeen North 1931

    Unionist 22,931
    Labour 8,753
    Communist 3,980

  26. Brian Nicholson

    SGP are fielding a candidate in Central Ayrshire, which is likely to be a closer contest than Ayrshire North & Arran (which is reckoned to be an easier take for the SNP) where they’re not

    Your mythical cynic maybe isn’t very good at political analysis! :-)

  27. ON

    I will have to invoke the Barney Crockett defense for that oversight…;-)

  28. Brian Nicholson


  29. Just caught up with Ed Miliband’s ‘Free Speech’ appearance. I have to say that, apart from on drugs policy, that was one of the best TV appearances I’ve seen from a Labour politician in a long, long time.

    I’d advise a watch if you’ve not seen yet:

  30. @Phil Haines @Bill Patrick

    Regarding Cameron – don’t underestimate the effect of style and character.

    For example, Obama has caused the deaths of plenty of people with his drones, but hasn’t gotten the flack that Dubya used to get.

    It’s because he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it nor revelling in it. People think, he obviously doesn’t get any kick out of this, hence he must be doing it out of necessity.

    Ditto Cameron. He’s doesn’t come across as the blood-curdling Tory of mythology. Instead he’s an overweight fellow who is a bit lazy – enjoys his dinner too much and plays fruit ninja when he should be working. He doesn’t look like he enjoys cutting anything, he looks rather indulgent. So people reason that if he’s cutting it must be because it’s necessary. He gives off a very different vibe from say, Michael Howard, even tho’ Howard was his mentor.

    I think people judge by what they perceive to be the politician’s intentions just as much as they judge by results and actions. I think a lot of voter decisions are really snap decisions about the character of the person they are electing to make decisions on their behalf, rather than based on policy.

    Whether the perception is correct is a whole other issue. For example, one of the reasons Obama won over Hillary Clinton was because she was perceived to be cold and calculating. In reality she’s probably a warmer character than the cool Obama. But the perception of calculation was what did her in.

  31. Is it also significant that Green have not nominated candidates in the following Welsh seats?

    Aberconwy, Arfon, Bridgend, Clwyd West, Dwyfor & Meirionydd, Rhondda, Vale of Clwyd, Yns Mon.

    The Conservatives have still not nominated in Orkney and Shetland and LD in Edinburgh East, Lanark & Hamilton East, Midlothian, Moray and Paisley and Renfrewshire North.

  32. The DUP have set out it’s conditions for coalition
    For the conservatives they would need to repeal the ‘bedroom tax/spare room subsidy
    For Labour they would need to agree to a E.U. referendum and not go into coalition with the SNP

    Not sure which demands would cause more problems for each party.

  33. Pretty obvious that those conditions are tougher on Labour, even if you disregard the DUP attitude to the SNP. Labour’s whole pitch to business has been based on the idea that, okay, we’ll tax and regulate you a bit more than the Tories, but we won’t muck you around with this EU referendum.

    Whereas some Tories would be probably quite happy to have an opportunity / excuse to ditch the bedroom tax. It would be a bit like how going into coalition with the Lib Dems in 2010 allowed them to ditch some policies (e.g. the inheritance tax cut promised before the 2008/09 recession).

  34. @Andy Shadrack

    Quite extraordinary that the LDs have not nominated in Edinburgh East. I used to live there and they finished a good second in the seat as recently as 2005. Their vote share in 2005 (24.4) was slightly higher than their GB average (23).

    Their vote share in 2010 was a bit lower (19.4), but the SNP had a better known candidate (George Kerevan is a fairly well known writer) and there was a Scottish national swing away from the LD to Labour. I think it shows the level of LD collapse in Scotland that they haven’t (aren’t?) nominated yet in a seat where they used to be vaguely competitive.

    re: the Welsh seats, two of those seats are held by Plaid (Dwyfor and Arfon) and another (Ynys Mon) would be a target seat for them in a good year. A former leader of Plaid encouraged Welsh people living in England to vote for the Greens, so the Greens not standing in those seats in Wales would be consistent with an unofficial deal between the parties.

  35. Unfortunately the Conservatives have got themselves into a bit of a corner with the so called bedroom tax. The principal is sound in my view but depends on the availability of alternative, appropriately sized accommodation for it to operate properly. As it is, it just looks like a punishment. It should, however, apply when people first take up social housing or move.

    The reason there are so few one bedroom flats is that they were very difficult to let. Many people waited for a two bedroom house to become available and this was a nightmare for councils and housing associations( who were a bit too soft about it frankly ).

    I would guess that the Conservatives would be happy to considerably modify the policy in any negotiations with other parties.


    Absolutely correct, this Government is not in the least right wing. MT’s government really was right wing in some of its actions.

  37. TOH
    “MT’s government really was right wing in some of its actions.”

    Do you think that may be at least a contributory reason why the Cons have failed to gain a Westminster overall majority since they did so 23 years ago, in the 1992 GE? And why, it seems, they may well not get there this time either?

  38. @Robert Newark

    In all honesty, after posting it I thought it was a bit generous because I ought to have added “at least”.

    I’m not going to get into a debate with you to justify our respective positions – this is not the place. I was responding to a claim about Cameron being essentially a Lib Dem, you have responded to my alternative take, shall we leave it at that?

  39. Cameron is no more far right wing than Millibrand is far left wing, but it is a label some like to hang on politicians. The last time that could really be said to be the case was with Thatcher and Foot in 1982,

  40. @James Peel

    If we could wind the clock back in time and start again, I would take 1990 over 2015 any day.

  41. It all depends on where you are starting from doesn’t it? I know many on the left who would laugh at your statement that Foot was far left wing.

  42. It seems that any government with a chancellor who can count is dubbed right wing. I would guess that history would describe the coalition as socially liberal and fiscally pragmatic. Right and left don’t come into it.

  43. Norbold, actually agree, and also know many on the right who would laugh at my description Thatcher as far right wing.
    Perhaps my terminology was flabby and needs clarifying. When we look at the manifestos of the conservatives and Labour in 1983, I think they were so far apart from each other compared to any since that we had a real divide between the parties, Since then the main parties have come much closer together in terms of their policies. I was not suggesting Foot was a communist or Thatcher was a nazi

  44. The graphs with YouGov’s daily poll get more & more bizarre. Con & Lab zigzags seem to be getting more pronounced. UKIP seems to be trending up again after a decline.

    This electorate does seem to be deeply uncertain. There is room for a really bold statement / initiative which has the ring of honesty.

  45. Looking forward to our “post-imperial” , two-kitchen world. :-)

  46. I am a pensioner with a soft spot for the Liberal Democrats

  47. OLD NAT
    “Why would they stick with Unionist parties who fought hard against what they wanted?”

    Because, as you well know, there are more than one way of killing a cat. The thinking Scot nationalist would likely review economic and long-term security issues, pensions, taxation, NHS continuities, and ease of international relations and trading, in the light of alternative devo-max and independence options.

    BTW, did you receive the UK Government leaflet on devolution to Scotland? Well presented I thought, but bizarely time in its support for Uniionist parties in the run-up to the GE.

  48. Populus have been running a seat/government predictor for a few weeks now in the FT. It is behind a paywall, but the FT seem to have a deal with google, so you can access it if you go to google news and search for populus/hanover

    For those lucky enough to have an FT subscription here is the direct link

    They mention that despite the increasing Tory poll fortunes, it is not translating into more seats

    “First, because of the way parliamentary boundaries are drawn the Conservatives need more votes on average to elect an MP than Labour does. It would therefore take a significant lead in the national polls before this is translated into a Tory advantage in terms of seats”

    They give probabilities of different coalitions, and at the moment the arithmetic seems to favour a Labour government by quite a large margin.

    Well worth a read of the whole article for those interested in forecasts and the coalition/ supply and confidence permutations possible.

  49. Richard,

    “They give probabilities of different coalitions, and at the moment the arithmetic seems to favour a Labour government by quite a large margin. ”

    ” … at the moment …”

    From memory, I think that article was written at the end of February.

  50. No not the best nights political viewing last night.

    Dont know what was worse -sarah vine who ought to know better trying to excuse her vile piece about justine thornton in the daily mail or charlie kennedy a shadow of his former self.

    Kennedy should not stand again and vine should get an honest career.

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