Ipsos MORI have published their September political monitor for the Evening Standard. Topline voting intention figures are CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%, GRN 4%.

MORI have made another methodological change in the light of the polling error at the general election. Previously they had started including how regularly people say they usually vote in the turnout filter, now they have also added additional weighting by newspaper readership. Again, the methodology review is still an ongoing process, and MORI make clear they anticipate making further changes.

The rest of the poll had a series of questions about perceptions of the party leaders and parties.

Jeremy Corbyn’s first satisfaction rating is minus 3 (33% are satisfied with him as leader, 36% dissatisfied). At first glance that isn’t bad – it’s a better net rating than Cameron or the government! In a historical context though it’s not good. New leaders normally get a polling honeymoon, the public give them the benefit of the doubt to begin with and Corbyn’s net rating is the worst MORI have recorded for a new leader of one of the big two parties (the initial ratings for past party leaders were Miliband +19, Brown +16, Cameron +14, Howard +9, IDS 0, Hague -1, Blair +18, Smith +18, Major +15, Kinnock +20, Foot +2)

Looking at the more detailed questions on perceptions of Jeremy Corbyn his strengths and weaknesses compared to David Cameron are very similar to the ones we got used to in Cameron v Miliband match ups: Cameron scores better on things like being a capable leader, good in a crisis, sound judgement; Corbyn scores better on being in touch with ordinary people, having more substance than style and being more honest than most politicians. Asked overall who would make the most capable Prime Minister Cameron wins by 53% to 27%.

Of course, all of Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings need to be seen in the context that he is very new to the job and the public don’t know a whole lot about him beyond the initial negative press. Early perceptions of him may yet change. His figures may get better… or worse.

MORI also asked about perceptions of the Labour and Conservative parties, and here the impact of Corbyn’s victory on how the Labour party itself is seen was very evident. The proportion of people seeing the party as divided is up 33 points to 75%, extreme is up 22 points to 36% and out of date is up 19 points to 55%. Both the Labour party and the Conservative party had a big jump in the proportion of people saying they were “Different to other parties” – I suppose it takes two parties to be different from each other!

Full details of the MORI poll are here


437 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 39, LAB 34, LD 9, UKIP 7, GRN 4”

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  1. Ken

    “who knows what could happen”

    Wise words.

    So spending £100 billion over the next few years on one weapon with no specified function is really sensible, when the UK doesn’t have the number of frigates and surveillance aircraft to protect interests which, fairly obviously, need defending.

    We don’t know what “could happen”, but can fairly easily identify UK interests that might be vulnerable and need defending.

    It is a perfectly valid (though somewhat insane) argument that all taxes should be devoted to protecting the citizen against any attack (other than from their own government).

    A more rational approach would be to measure the risk level from various sources, and design the defence strategy accordingly.

    Of course, if you want to mount an Attack strategy, that will result in retaliation, so gazundillions will need to be spent protecting against those threats.

  2. AW has just exercised the nuclear option and obliterated a group of my posts, I don’ t possess a suitable deterrent therefore he acts with impunity. I rest my case. :-)

  3. AU
    ” ….lots of people have the weapons and nobody would ever tolerate a regime that would actually use them. So again its pointless. We’re not going to use them against anyone, because all the people we’d fight we’re militarily superior to and don’t need to use the weapons against. Those that we’re not militarily superior to have more nukes than us, so we wouldn’t be fighting them anyway.”

    That might be true at the moment, but can any of us predict the world political situation in. say, 20 years time? A lot of countries in the world are either actually or potentially nuclear powers, and also actually or potentially governed by dictators or subject to military coups. If we could not retaliate in kind can you be sure that a future Iranian, Pakistani, Argentinian etc etc government would not at least threaten to use nukes? They would only have to make the threat for us to agree to whatever they required of us.

  4. OLDNAT……Gazundillions, now you’re talking my language. :-)

  5. One of the sticking points in the negotiations in reduction of nuclear arms reduction is the submarine launched nuclear weapons. Just a remark.

    If Corbyn could outline the alternative, who knows, it could be a vote winner. However, I’m not sure if his advisors have yet the capability.

  6. @OldNat

    You certainly have a point that as per Catalunya’s Statute of Autonomy (last revised in 2006 – although significantly amended by Spain’s Constitutional Court a few years later), Catalunya does not have FFA and that the current fiscal transfer arrangements are not as beneficial to Catalunya as origionally envisaged in the 2006 document.

    However, I don’t accept that FFA is an essential prerequisite of being a state within a federal system. Different federal countries operate very different systems, with varying degrees of fiscal independence.

  7. RAF……Aaah! But what about Barca in La Liga ?

  8. @Pete B

    “If we could not retaliate in kind can you be sure that a future Iranian, Pakistani, Argentinian etc etc government would not at least threaten to use nukes? They would only have to make the threat for us to agree to whatever they required of us.”

    I’m not entirely sure what on earth Iran, Pakistan or Argentina would want from us, or why they’d have to use nukes to get whatever they require from us. As is apparent all they’d need to do is offer to fund investment projects for Prime Minister Osborne and in no time at all they’d own everything of worth in the country :)

    More seriously the deterrent would be obvious; Britain would simply politely cough and point out that, as we’re part of NATO, anyone using or threatening to use nuclear weapons would just bring the full force of the USA crashing down on their heads. I’m sure that Iran, Pakistan and Argentina, all three of whom the US hates, wouldn’t want to give them a legitimate reason to wipe them off the face of the Earth.

    Here’s a counter thought-experiment though: suppose a terrorist group acquires a nuclear weapon (or steals one of ours) and threatens Britain with it, unless we give in to their demands. Should we do so? How to we use nuclear weapons to deter them?

  9. Or, of course, another plausible thought-experiment:

    Suppose Scotland wins an independence vote and then boots the nuclear weapons out of the country. Which happens first? A place in England agrees to take them, and store them nearby, or the submarine captain defects to North Korea to halt the starvation of his crew? ;)

  10. Anarchists Unite

    The arguments that “X could force us to do whatever they want, by threatening us with nukes – unless we had nukes too” seems to founder on a very simple point.

    Why the hell would anyone think that Britain (or France) were important enough to threaten anyway? Threatening NATO, SEATO (or any other US dominated alliance) or threatening Russian or Chinese hegemony, I can understand.

    But Britain or France? Large countries in Europe, I grant – but world players who might be threatened independently of the West as a whole? That’s the sort of megalomaniac thinking that your average nutter in the State Hospital trots out to their analyst.

  11. Anarchists Unite

    Surely a loyal Brit captain would simply remain at sea and eat his crew?

  12. OLDNAT…….’ Your average nutter in the State Hospital ‘ What kind of talk is that from a teacher ? I despair.
    Anyway, I have sleep to catch up on, so it’s goodnight from me…… :-0

  13. @OldNat

    “Why the hell would anyone think that Britain (or France) were important enough to threaten anyway?”

    Maybe they assumed that all that rhetoric about the ‘special relationship’ was true ;)

    “Surely a loyal Brit captain would simply remain at sea and eat his crew?”

    Now there’s a plot for a low-budget horror movie…

  14. @oldnat

    The £100bn figure you keep throwing around comes from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). They get to this figure by a huge number of assumptions and estimates stretching from the present day to 2060. All of their estimates attempt to maximise the cost of each aspect of the Trident programme… we do not even know what missile will replace the Trident II D-5 that far out into the future.

    If you want to be taken seriously in any debate about the UK’s nuclear deterrent, you should be very careful about where you quote figures from. Just because the SNP parrot this £100bn figure at every possible opportunity does not mean it’s trustworthy.

    Perhaps it’s time for some more realistic figures? These come from the MoD white paper for replacing the nuclear deterrent, I link it below.

    £11bn for the four new submarines
    £0.25bn to extend the life of the Trident II D-5 missile
    £2bn for warhead refurbishment
    £2-3bn on infrastructure (over 30 years)

    This was 2006 prices.
    In 2013/14 prices the MoD estimates a total cost of £17.5bn – £23.4bn. A couple £bn of this has already been spent/committed on long-lead items and infrastructure.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/27378/DefenceWhitePaper2006_Cm6994.pdf

  15. Here is the UK political moon forecast –

    The Moon has started to go SNP Yellow. From 2:10am moon will start to go Miliband Red. Corbyn Red 3:11am-4:24am.

    By morning all hope in England will disappear and briefly reassert itself only once in a Blue Moon.

  16. @oldnat

    One more thing.

    “So spending £100 billion over the next few years”

    If you believe this ridiculous £100bn figure from the CND, at least have the decency to recognise it’s the sum of estimated costs out to 2060.

  17. Omnishambles

    You really shouldn’t parrot ideas like nuclear “deterrent”.

    To be a deterrent, it has to deter someone. Got any ideas on that?

    Even if the MoD figures are accurate (and that would be a monumental first!) then the core questions remain –

    Is spending that sum on WMD best use of scarce resources?
    What threat is it designed to deter?
    What alternative defence provision is being ignored in order to fund the WMD?
    Why have no other countries, that neither have nor host nukes, been threatened?

    “If you want to be taken seriously in any debate about the UK’s” WMD, you had better have some pretty convincing arguments on these points.

  18. Faisal Islam –
    Capitalism in 21st C: two Chinese State-owned nuclear companies fund a French state-run energy co backed by £2bn in UK govt guarantees

    Well, that’s two WMD countries we ain’t going to use Trident against! Looking more & more that Trump’s USA is the intended target. :-)

  19. @oldnat

    The MoD figures at least have some basis in reality. You take numbers from heavily-biased pressure groups as fact and you don’t have the faintest idea what they mean. Here’s an example, the Trident D-5 missile’s life extension programme is designed to keep it in service to 2040. The CND’s £100bn goes to 2060 – how do they estimate the cost of the new missiles? It’s impossible because not even the MoD knows what missiles these will be. The CND didn’t even try to guess, they just produced a high estimate of running costs (with some double counting) and multiplied by 40 years (2020 to 2060).

    Anyway, yes I understand a deterrent is meant to deter. There are two arguments in favour of a deterrent that I can think of right now.

    1) Because these weapons are among the most devastating in the world and because their submarine-based delivery system makes them impossible to take out in a first strike, they provide the ultimate deterrent against the worst kind of attacks on the UK. Sure the threat of such an attack might be minimal right now, but only a fool would assume our position will always be this secure.

    2) Nuclear weapons, and especially a credible, continuous nuclear deterrent, give you a seat on the world’s top diplomatic tables and make a country’s voice stronger on the world stage. After all there’s a reason various countries are trying to acquire nuclear weapons.

    You said this
    “Why the hell would anyone think that Britain (or France) were important enough to threaten anyway?”

    I don’t understand this reasoning at all. Let’s humour you and say for the sake of argument Britain/France aren’t very important countries… why exactly do you think only important countries get threatened? Do you think Ukraine is a more important country than Britain? Do you think Russia would have annexed part of Ukraine if they had not given up their nuclear weapons?

  20. Omnishambles

    I’m not wholly fussed about the exact costs. No military programme has ever come in on budget, so let’s not pretend that MoD estimates are any more useful than Donald Dewar conjuring a figure from the air about the cost of creating a new Parliament building! [1]

    As to your “arguments”

    1. You assert (with no supporting evidence whatsoever) that the UK having WMD “provide[s] the ultimate deterrent against the worst kind of attacks on the UK”. Since you agree that any such threat is currently minimal, you then go on to assert that “only a fool would assume our position will always be this secure.”

    Only a fool would waste valuable resources on an unspecified threat from something or someone unidentifiable – while wholly ignoring the concept of a defensive alliance. Under what circumstances can you envisage the UK being under attack (in a way that would require you to threaten the use of WMD) that isn’t covered by NATO?

    Why are we no spending gazillions on protecting ourselves against an alien invasion? Sure the threat of such an attack might be minimal right now, but only a fool would assume our position will always be this secure.

    2. Nuclear weapons, and especially a credible, continuous nuclear deterrent, give you a seat on the world’s top diplomatic tables and make a country’s voice stronger on the world stage. Now we come to the core of your argument. It’s not about “Defence” at all, but being “one of the big boys”.

    Not that the UK or France could actually be “one of the big boys”, of course. More like the hangers-on to the gang leaders that I observed when seeing similarly immature young males posturing around the playground. :-)

    I wholly accept the argument promulgated by the RDI that having WMD is nothing to do with Defence, but entirely about the UK PM posturing on the world stage.

    Whether the population of the UK considered that such posturing was worth the candle is another matter.

    Still, I’m not surprised that some of you still continue the traditions of the League of Empire Loyalists that still existed in my young day.

    Your position and theirs are remarkably similar.

    [1] We can always chat about the cost of refurbishing Westminster if you want. :-)

  21. A giant pig appears to be eating the moon, and turning the remnant a dull Brown.

    Not much sign of a Red Moon! The heavens are telling us that Corbyn is just the same old, same old … :-)

  22. CARFREW

    You are quite right to be concerned about storage (as indeed about mending the roof while th sun shines, as demonstrated by Joseph during his office as Governor of Egypt). As it says in Genesis 41:49 English Standard Version “And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.”
    And as explained in Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary Genesis 41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence [ i.e.more or less Chancellor of the Exchequor]. He was made to forget his misery [i.e. bring an end to Austerity]. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended.”
    “We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted.”

  23. @Oldnat

    Thanks muchly, for the storage offer. Problem is, I need my storage to be only a few minutes away, and Scotland is not just a few minutes away. It’s relatively remote, especially the remote bits.

    (Also, “here be dragons” etc., and now you’ve got us worried about the witch thing…)

  24. OLDNAT
    IN your long reply to OMNISHABLES you didn’t answer his question about the Ukraine. The only country to ever give up its nuclear weapons. in exchange they got ‘iron cast’ guarantees (from Russia and The West) and were universally praised by disarmament organizations from all over the world.

    Then they got invaded.

    It must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

  25. @JP

    Exactly. If more people read the bible, they would understand the critical importance of good storage. It’s just that these days, one might not store so much grain, and instead one stores electric guitars and vintage synths etc…

  26. @Laszlo

    Reassuring about all the energy freed up in the Rapture thing, but not sure how there’ll be that much energy without Thorium.

    (For all the peeps having debates recently about nuclear power and proliferation, another advantage of Thorium is that it’s not so much cop for the weapons thing.)

    Bit concerned about the coffee pipe thing: how will they ensure a good crema?

  27. @JOHN PILGRIM

    Blair did not found the welfare state; nor actually did Atlee. He did expand it and refocused it on transfer payments rather than service in kind. If Marxism means a progressive income tax and transfer payments, Cameron is a Marxist too.

  28. @Oldnat

    “Why are we no spending gazillions on protecting ourselves against an alien invasion?”

    —————-

    Well, there are several potential reasons for this, take your pick:

    1) any civilisation advanced enough to travel interstellar distances to visit us would probably view our weapons rather comically, so there’s little point

    2) or maybe we already are taking steps but it’s secret stuff

    3) The aliens have already taken over and the lizard peeps are running things already

    4) the alien threat is a lot more unspecified than the nuclear, which we know is real and have seen the effects.

  29. @David Colby

    “IN your long reply to OMNISHABLES you didn’t answer his question about the Ukraine.”

    ————

    Yep, he changed the subject and talked about aliens instead!!

    The left often tie themselves up in knots a bit when discussing deterrence and stuff…

  30. If the Ukraine still had nuclear weapons would they have used them on Russia then? Hmmmmm……

  31. If Ukraine had nuclear weapons, would the Russians have really invaded them?

    Hmmmm…

    Incidentally, there’s only one country to have suffered a nuclear attack, and it wasn’t a nuclear power. There’s often a false dichotomy made between “Red or dead”, i.e. conquest or nuclear attack, when you can conceivably suffer both. Japan did.

  32. ‘There is no conflict situation that nuclear weapons will make safer’

    If we want non-proliferation then renewing Trident adds to the proliferation so to claim to believe in non-proliferation and multi-lateralism while supporting Trident renewal is complete hypocrisy,which is appears to be Labour stance.

  33. LASZLO
    “If Corbyn could outline the alternative, who knows, it could be a vote winner. However, I’m not sure if his advisors have yet the capability.”

    I don’t mind volunteering for this. We have these two monster aircraft carriers, also practically useless in the absence of any appropriate war. We fill them with thirty-thousand crack SAS type troops, including all suspected dissidents and ISIS candidates, who spend their entire time practicing kung fu and small arms, and with helicopters, and send them off to patrol the Indian Ocean and the China Sea, and with a crew of seamen practised in semaphore and flag displays to say: “If you send any nuclear missiles, we will beat the sh-t out of you.” As Cameron has just agreed with the UN, they would also be used to police places in sub-Saharan Africa to stop migration.
    (Actually, I think the latter is, with the job-creation programme DFID have financed under their SEED project in Somalia, a very good move.)

  34. How can appointing a group of left-wing economists help Labour’s policy of power to the people. Appointing a group of right-wing economists is as one-eyed, IMO. In fact, appointing economists of any stripe is fraught with danger since economics is a game, not a science. :-)

  35. AW
    ” John Pilgrim Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
    I can only think that this is because it is idiotic, which hardly seems fair.

  36. Couper2802,

    I’m sure that multilateralism is consistent with renewing Trident, and I don’t see how non-proliferation (i.e. stopping increases in the number of nuclear powers) requires that existing nuclear powers never renew their weapons systems.

    You can criticise Labour’s nuclear policy, but it’s not outright inconsistent, as far as I can tell.

  37. Jez we can in Wales

    Politico Daily [email protected]_Daily 4m4 minutes ago
    YouGov/ITV (Wales Constituency) poll:

    Conservative 23
    Labour 39 +4
    Lib Dem 6 +1
    Plaid Cymru 18 -2
    UKIP 13 -1
    Green 2 -1
    1:24 AM – 28 Sep 2015 · Details

  38. @oldnat

    Costs are pretty important when some of the arguments against the nuclear deterrent are because it costs too much. I doubt the MoD costs will be exactly right but there’s a huge difference between ~£20bn and £100bn, and there’s also a huge difference between 45 years and “a few years”.

    Addressing your points:

    “Under what circumstances can you envisage the UK being under attack (in a way that would require you to threaten the use of WMD) that isn’t covered by NATO?”

    You are making the worrying assumption that NATO is forever. History should teach you that alliances are not eternal. What seems a sure bet today may not be so 5, 6 or 7 decades in the future. All it would take is a botched response to a conflict in the Balts, or the election of anti-NATO politicians in major European countries, and the alliance could disintegrate.

    “Now we come to the core of your argument. It’s not about “Defence” at all, but being “one of the big boys”.
    Not that the UK or France could actually be “one of the big boys”, of course. More like the hangers-on to the gang leaders that I observed when seeing similarly immature young males posturing around the playground. :-)”

    It’s only one of my arguments and I think it makes sense to want a strong diplomatic presence in the world. For example Britain’s presence on the UNSC P5 would be much less secure if the country ditched the nuclear deterrent. Also I think your dismissal of the UK and France as “hangers-on” instead of global powers in their own right is uninformed.

    The UK for example is the world’s 5th largest economy, an improvement from 7th back in 1990. In your post at 1:20am you imply Russia is more important – they don’t even make 10th place on this measure. The UK economy is approximately 3x larger than the Russian economy in nominal terms (which should be used for international comparison rather than purchasing power parity). Only three countries in the world have a fully-fledged blue water navy allowing global power projection – the USA, France and the UK. You also have to take into account the UK’s membership in most of the world’s powerful international organisations/unions/alliances.

    This analysis has nothing to do with Empire or hanging on to the past, it’s the reality of the UK’s standing in the world *today*. I understand you dislike the fact that the UK exists and you’d rather see it diminished, but some of us think that compared with other nuclear powers the UK is one of the more reasonable. You remove the UK the top tier of world diplomacy and the voices of those others become relatively stronger.

  39. @Omnishambles

    I think you are proving the point this is not about cost or good defence it’s all about prestige:

    ‘, it’s the reality of the UK’s standing in the world *today*.’

    And obviously you think that your country is ‘better’ than the others and deserves that standing, but objectively it doesn’t any more than for example Germany does.

  40. David c. South Africa developed nuclear weapons then disarmed in the seventies I think. Jolly sensible.

  41. “I think you are proving the point this is not about cost or good defence it’s all about prestige:”

    ——-

    I think things may have moved on and it’s about aliens now…

  42. The figures Dez quotes above are actually for the constituencies in the Welsh Assembly. According to Roger Scully:

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2015/09/28/the-corbyn-bounce/

    For Westminster the figures are:

    Labour: 42% (+5)

    Conservative: 26% (-2)

    UKIP: 16% (+1)

    Plaid Cymru: 10% (-2)

    Liberal Democrats: 5% (+1)

    Others: 2% (-2)

    Changes are from the last Welsh Political Barometer in June.

    It suggests there is a small Corbyn bounce, partly derived from a drop in Green and Plaid support, but also coming from the Tories losing the extra votes they seem to have picked up during/after the election. The high rating for UKIP is also notable, despite expectations and the lack of attention they don’t seem to fading as some hoped.

  43. @couper

    “I think you are proving the point this is not about cost or good defence it’s all about prestige:”

    Nope, I made two clear arguments. The first concerns defence, i.e. the deterrence against major attacks on the UK. The second concerns the strength of British diplomacy. Describing it as “prestige” glosses over the importance and usefulness of diplomacy for country. For having a veto on the UNSC is extremely valuable.

    “And obviously you think that your country is ‘better’ than the others and deserves that standing, but objectively it doesn’t any more than for example Germany does.”

    I implied the UK is more reasonable than some other *nuclear* powers, such as Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan. I never suggested that the UK is better than every non-nuclear country. I do not know why you’re talking about Germany.

  44. @Dez

    “Jez we can in Wales”

    Ah yes, but what happens when the Welsh people cotton on that he intends to turn the UK into something akin to North Korea.

    Or was it Cuba or Venezuela? There’s was lots of very informed discussion about this on a previous UKPR thread.

    :-)

  45. “Or was it Cuba or Venezuela?”

    ———-

    Maybe he just wants to turn it into Scotland. Then Scots peeps won’t need to leave…

  46. The welsh poll mentioned above is good news for Labour in every respect and shows a clear Corbyn bounce.

    Maybe Corbyn isn’t such a vote looser in rural areas after all?

    If Labour wins an overall majority in Wales next year along with the London mayorship, the headlines might change a lot reg. Corbyn.

  47. On Catalonia there were 3 blocks in the election

    48 – Independence
    39 – Stay with Spain
    11 – Federalism Ok with Indy

    So Independence won a plurality. Catalonia have already had a referendum not agreed by Spain which independence won. So now Spain will be under pressure to agree a referendum or Catalonia plan to declare UDI within 18 months. It seems likely that the pro-independence movement will win that referendum but it will at least give Spain a chance.

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out, Catalonia becoming independent would be a huge boost to Scottish independence because project fear tactics would be exposed as nonsense.

  48. @Couper2802

    “It will be interesting to see how this pans out, Catalonia becoming independent would be a huge boost to Scottish independence because project fear tactics would be exposed as nonsense.”

    That would all rather depend. If Catalonia becomes independent and makes a success of it, that would be a boost. If it crashes and burns, that would not be.

  49. Putting aside the rights and wrongs of Trident, I don’t think it is unreasonable, as a principle, for a nation to try to maximise its control over its own fate.

    If you minimise your influence on the world stage others will be making your decisions for you. And they may not be the nations you after with.

    A similar argument is made re the EU. Nations like Norway have superficially maintained independence outside the EU, but they have had to accept all the EU’s legislation and regulation without any involvement in the discussions.

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