Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out, their first since the election. Topline figures are CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, GRN 6%. As with other recent voting intention polls, the figures themselves are perhaps less interesting than the methodology changes. In the case of Ipsos MORI, they’ve made an adjustment to their turnout filter. In the past they used to take only those respondents who said they were 10/10 certain to vote, the tightest of all the companies’ approaches. Their new approach is a little more complex, filtering people based on how likely they say they are to vote at an election and how regularly they say they usually vote – now they include only people who say their likelihood to vote is 9/10 or 10/10 AND who say they usually or always vote or “it depends”. People who say they rarely, never or sometimes vote are excluded.

The impact of this doesn’t appear to be massive. We can tell from the tables that the old method would have produced similar results of CON 39%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%, GRN 6%. In their comments on their topline results MORI are very explicit that this is just an interim measure, and that they anticipate making further changes in the future as their internal inquiry and the BPC inquiry continue.

Looking at the other questions in the survey, MORI also asked about the Labour leadership election, and found results in line with other polling we’ve seen so far… a solid lead for don’t know! Amongst the minority who expressed an opinion, Andy Burnham, led on 15%, followed by Yvette Cooper on 14%, Liz Kendall on 11%, Jeremy Corbyn on 5% and a dummy candidate (“Stewart Lewis”) on 3%.


125 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 39, LAB 30, LD 9, UKIP 8, GRN 6”

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  1. @Frederic Stansfield
    ‘It appears clear that there has been a sizeable swing to the Conservatives since the General Election, from Labour and UKIP. It there were hypothetically a General Election tomorrow there would be a large Conservative majority. ‘

    It is only Mori that has suggested that really – ICM gives the Tories a smaller lead than on May 7th.

  2. Meanwhile, while I’m here, I am (oddly) a member of Unite (yes, really) and I’ve just had a nice email from Len McCluskey aasking me to affiliate and sign up[1]. I’m willing to do so but they asking for a lot of personal info (dob, phone no) and I’m not really comfy with that. What is the difference between being part of Unite’s collective affiliation and being an affiliate supporter? I don’t agree with Unite’s present political stance but I’m not actually against it having one: it has to fight for its members somehow.

    [1] http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/unitepolitics/your-party-your-voice/

  3. @Frederic Stansfield

    “……I went to the BES’ public meeting yesterday announcing this enquiry. It was interesting but very technical. Laura Pitel has reported this meeting on Page 8 of today’s “The Times.” She is fair and accurate in what she said although she gives more emphasis than I would have done to Martin Boon’s pessimism for polling in the future. She is rightly critical about Survation, even if she doesn’t mention that they had a hiccup getting their computer going; but Survation were hardly major players at the meeting…”

    I wanted to go to this but could not: I had a tight Monday deadline and was in a conference last Tuesday and so could not take the time off. Would you be willing to do some kind of writeup? I’ve asked @AnthonyWells but he’s ignoring me. Conversely, did you get any printed matter or handouts? i’m more than happy to pay you.

  4. PHIL HAINES

    @”the shrinking Greek economy to service that debt has now completely collapsed.”

    Last year Greece had a primary budget surplus ( excluding interest payments). It is now almost certainly running a primary deficit after Syritza’s short period of incompetence & posturing.

    Greece has an amazing deal on its debts-which amount to 315 bn Euros:-

    Only 17% is now owned by private lenders-they all took a huge haircut.
    Of the 83% now owned by the taxpayers of Europe & of the member states of IMF , 142 bn euros is from the EZ ” lifeboat “- the EFSF. This debt has average maturity date of 32 years-the last date being 2053. Repayments don’t start until 2023 & the average coupon is 1.5% pa.

    Greece’s Debt interest is about 3% of its GDP.

    If they can make their tax revenue pay for their expenditure-they don’t have a problem. But they never have & they don’t seem to want to try.

    You really should not be surprised that EZ/IMF leaders are reluctant to lend more of their stakeholders’ hard earned cash , until Greece tries to become fiscally responsible.

    Take the vexed question of Greek Pension costs. Despite years of reluctant reforms, they still account for 18% of Greek GDP-the highest in the EU. Add in state salaries, and you have 80% of Greek state spending-three times more than Germany-whose taxpayers are being asked to continue to fund this largesse.
    Pensions in some sectors amount to 100% of final salary; workers in “hazardous” professions can retire on full pension at age 50. These include hairdressers & bakers.

    Corruption allows thousands of Greeks to claim pensions illegally-like the scam in Zakynthos where 2% of residents claimed disability benefit & early pensions for blindness-nine times the WHO prevelance rate. The scam was stopped-8700 phoney pensions costing 4 bn euros pa.

    Would you pay more taxes to” help “Greece ?

  5. Martyn

    “What is the difference between being part of Unite’s collective affiliation and being an affiliate supporter?”

    You get a vote in the leadership election if you are an affiliate supporter.

  6. Greece is in such a hole, I can see no option other than leaving the Euro, default and bankruptcy, and starting again.

    Anything else is a temporary fudge trying to avoid the inevitable.

  7. @Norbold

    Thank you.

  8. @Catmanjeff

    I agree with you. The only question is how to make Greece do it. They don’t want to go voluntarily.

  9. @Martyn

    Try reading my e-mail again, this time noting the reference to “scale” and “pace”.

    @Colin

    “Last year Greece had a primary budget surplus ( excluding interest payments).”

    Yes indeed, that was my point. The problem is that the extreme measures that they had already taken (which I think you are being unduly dismissive of) to reach that point weren’t enough for the troika. An absolute budget surplus in short time was being demanded. And by pushing for yet more austerity they broke the camels back.

    Would I pay more taxes to “help” Greece? No, not if it’s in order to “help” them stay in the Euro. If I was German I might though recognise that the economic advantage my country has gained out of the Euro has been at the expense of many others. I would advise Greece that their position is unsustainable, apologise for creating a nonsense of a currency union for political expediency and recognise the folly of my turning a blind eye to allow them to bend the rules to join for the same reasons of political expediency. I would bow to the inevitable and write off sufficient of their existing debt to give their economy a fighting chance with a new, devalued currency. And I’d drop the political ambition for ultimate European union, wind up the ECB and return to a situation of independently floating national currencies, which I recall before the days of the ERM used to work pretty well.

  10. @Martyn

    “e-mail” = post (!)

  11. Martyn – “The “austerity” you refer to is asking Greece to spend less that it brings in in tax. I’m trying really hard, but I’m finding it difficult to characterise that as “bad”.”

    It’s bad in the context of a single currency.

    The euro bit is very very important.

    Normally the IMF swoop in, ask for spending cuts, but also insist on monetary policy that weakens the currency in order to allow the private sector to take up the slack.

    So say the govt cuts say 1 million jobs, the private sector creates 1 million jobs thanks to a weakening currency allowing an export advantage. Govt spending falls, tax receipts rise, the country revives, all is well in the world.

    This has been the IMF formula for decades.

    But with Greece, the crucial element, monetary policy wasn’t there. They were trapped in the euro. While the BoE and Fed did massive quantitative easing to both weaken currencies and head off deflation, the ECB just sat on it’s hands arguing about non-existent inflation. (The pound was over $2 before the Great Financial Crash and the BoE engineered it to circa $1.55 just after, giving the exporting private sector an advantage – the swift interest rate cuts also really helped households with mortgages which meant consumer spending was supported).

    The ECB was really slow to cut interest rates and it’s only now, seven years after the Great Financial Crash, that they are doing some QE.

    And it’s all too late for Greece. It’s not just GDP that has collapsed, they are suffering out-right deflation of the kind that we didn’t even see in the Great Depression. Whereas if Greece had had it’s own currency, it would have fallen relative to the euro, there would be no deflation and they would be undercutting the Spanish, the Italians and the Turks for tourist money and doing a lot of business.

    Basically if you want public spending cuts, you need to have your own currency so you can offset with monetary policy to help the private sector.

    If you want a single currency, then you need fiscal transfers of the type you see in the USA to offset the pain. For example 33% of South Carolina’s GDP consists of transfers from the federal govt (they are more dependent on the state than Northern Ireland!). But you don’t see New Yorkers or Californians complaining, they accept that it’s the price of Union and in any case the South Carolinans contribute in other ways, such as supplying personnel/cannon fodder for those back-breaking tours of duty the US military have been engaged in for over a decade.

    There is no similar solidarity in the eurozone. They don’t like each other, they don’t trust each other, they don’t acknowledge that various parts all contribute something – yet they want the benefit of a big currency because they have delusions about taking on the United States!

    It’s madness.

  12. @PhilHaines

    “…Try reading my e-mail again, this time noting the reference to “scale” and “pace”…”

    I don’t think the scale and pace is arduous. If I understand correctly, the current budget surplus required by the creditors is 1%. So over a twelvemonth period the Greeks should spend 1% less than they take in in taxes. I cannot characterise that as excessive.

    “…An absolute budget surplus in short time was being demanded…”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “absolute” here, but even having said that, I’m still disagreeing with you. It is not excessive to ask people to spend within their means. There will always be exceptions (earthquake, famine, pestilence) and simple bad luck, and nobody is perfect. But the Greeks have been flat-out lying about their income and/or refusing to pay their loans for at least sixteen years now

    “… I would advise Greece that their position is unsustainable…”

    They know their position is unsustainable. They’ve known for years” They don’t care. They want to stay in the Euro and we have no mechanism for forcing them out. Even if you tied Tspiras down and screamed “OH JUST GO ALREADY” in his face repeatedly, all they would do is send in another proposal and call you a Nazi for not giving them more money.

    “…apologise for creating a nonsense of a currency union for political expediency and recognise the folly of my turning a blind eye to allow them to bend the rules to join for the same reasons of political expediency…”

    “Dear Greece. Sorry we believed you when you lied about…well, everything. It’s all our fault for believing you. I just don’t know what we were thinking. Silly us. Signed, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain”

    I can’t see that happening, myself.

    “…write off sufficient of their existing debt debt to give their economy a fighting chance with a new, devalued currency…”

    It’s not your money to write off. You may think it unwise/inhumane for the creditors to insist on being paid, but they are within their rights to do so.

    “…Would I pay more taxes to “help” Greece? No, not if it’s in order to “help” them stay in the Euro…”

    It may horrify you to know (it certainly horrified me) that the UK government (via the Telegraph and Spectator) has twice floated the prospect of giving Greece emergency aid in the event of it leaving the Euro.

  13. PhilHaines

    Sorry, we’re crossposting. To save time, I’ll point out that I understand your logic concerning crossborder transfers, solidarity between states, and so on: I’m not disputing it.

    Where we differ is you think that the insistence that Greece pay back its loans is unreasonable because it leads to poverty, etc. I think the creditors are within their rights to retrieve their loans even if it leads to poverty, etc. I point out that the creditors have been lenient. You point out that the Greeks have suffered due to the repayment.

    We both emphasise facts explaining our positions, but ultimately it boils down to this: in the battle between the creditor and the debtor, in matters freely entered into, you side with the debtor, and I with the creditor.

  14. ‘. It is not excessive to ask people to spend within their means’

    The UK has only managed a Budget Surplus in 11 of the last 70 years.

  15. Graham

    The difference between you and me is that you are impressed that the UK ran a surplus for 11 of the last 70 years, and I am horrified that it ran a deficit for 59 of the last 70 years…:-)

  16. @Candy

    You post describes very well why monetary union without fiscal union is a disaster.

    I think the reason the situation hasn’t been resolved is that the architecture of the Euro is terrible, and the risk of contagion should Greece fall out is high.

    The vast amount of political capital invested in the EU and Euro means that there are big vested interests worried about a failing EU/Euro.

    They don’t want the political dreams to end.

  17. @Martyn

    In fact I don’t think that the insistence that Greece pays back ALL of its loans is unreasonable because it leads to poverty. I think it’s unreasonable because there’s no conceivable way it could do so if it remains within the single currency. More austerity going far beyond what they’ve already done will make things even worse by shrinking their economy further, worsening the debt/GDP ratio. Colin pointed out earlier that the productive capacity of the Greek economy had stabilised, but that was only after the earlier medicine had prompted a massive contraction of their GDP over several years.

    When limited companies or individuals are in that sort of impossible position, creditors reluctantly come to accept a haircut on their debt rather than force the debtor into bankruptcy and receive nothing, but it seems that different rules apply to lending to near-bankrupt nation states as far as the troika is concerned.

    Ultimately it’s the debt/GDP ratio that matters – the scale of government debt relative to the country’s productive capacity. You don’t need to be running a budget surplus to shrink that ratio, let alone the 3.5% figure which is what I think further lending to Greece was being made conditional on. And timing also matters. Even George Osborne isn’t going to achieve a primary budget surplus for another three years.

    That is all irrelevant though, because a difficult position has been made irretrievable because of the single currency. Greece is indeed wrong in wanting to remain within the Euro – but so is the troika which is why I have so little sympathy with the ECB’s position as a creditor. Without the folly of a single currency, Greece would now have suffered a large scale devaluation accompanied by inflation that would have in effect shared the pain equally across public and private sectors, while restoring the ability of the country to compete in international markets.

  18. @Graham

    “The UK has only managed a Budget Surplus in 11 of the last 70 years.”

    Indeed. And during that time it’s managed to reduce the accumulated stock of government debt from 240% of GDP in 1945 down to under 40% in 2008 and still only around 75% now.

  19. PHIL HAINES.

    I think you focus too much on “austerity” & not enough on “reforms”.

    The Greek State is disfunctional- riddled with clientilism , inefficiency graft & corruption.

    This article gives an idea of why reducing cost is not the whole answer to Greece’s problems :-

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/08/06/the-problems-in-the-greek-public-sector-cannot-be-solved-simply-by-reducing-the-size-of-salaries-or-the-numbers-of-staff/

    And yet Syritza is opposed to such reforms . These are extracts from an FT piece in May this year :-

    “Even as the Greek government scrambled to reach an agreement on new economic reforms with its creditors in Brussels, it began reversing similar measures agreed during previous bailout negotiations in a parliamentary session in Athens.
    A new law proposed by the leftwing Syriza-led government and passed Tuesday night opens the way to rehire thousands of workers cut loose from the country’s inefficient public sector in a reform enacted by the previous government.
    The move came on the same day the new government announced changes to a finance ministry system of electronic procurements and public payments that was supposed to improve transparency and had been blessed by international lenders.
    The latest Greek law calls for the rehiring of about 13,000 civil servants whose jobs were cut in an overhaul of public administration agreed by with bailout lenders by the previous Greek government. It also eliminated annual evaluations for civil servants and promotions based on merit.”

    And the reason for this apparent desire to stop public sector reforms ?

    The FT article says this :-
    “Giorgos Katrougalos, the leftwing Syriza-led government’s deputy minister for administrative reform, said similar rollbacks were in store. “This is not our last word, it’s the first step of [administrative] reforms we’re going to make that won’t be neoliberal but will have a social aspect,” he said.”

  20. PHIL HAINES

    @”still only around 75% now”

    87.1% at end May 2015 ( ONS)

    @”And during that time it’s managed to reduce the accumulated stock of government debt from 240% of GDP in 1945 down to under 40% in 2008″

    …………With the considerable assistance of a loan from the USA-50 annual repayments commencing in the Fifties-finally repaid in 2006

  21. MARTYN

    I couldn’t have put it better. The Greeks are only victims of there own mismanagement of their economy. I am truly amazed the Germans have put up with their carping for so long.

    Alan

    We don’t always follow suit. On the EU for example I think Colin want’s to stay in whereas i’m all for leaving, almost regardless of what Cameron achieves in his renegotiation.

  22. Two big anti austerity marches today -wonder why they didnt march three months ago ?

  23. @Colin

    I was taking my figures from here.

    http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/spending_chart_1900_2015UKp_XXs1li111mcn_G0t

    Not sure why the difference – maybe the figure I used was based on Osborne’s targets rather than what he actually achieved? It hardly alters the big picture though – i.e. provided there’s growth in GDP it’s not necessary to run budget surpluses in most years in order to bring accumulated government debt under control. Note also that the UK was able to devalue its currency in 1948 and later.

  24. @Colin (4.10pm)

    You seem to be mistaking me for an apologist for Syriza. I’m not.

  25. Reports -EU referendum to be in October 2016 ?

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