Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Standard is out today – topline figures with changes from last month are CON 41%(+5), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 7%(-3), UKIP 7%(-5), GRN 4%(+1). The big drop in UKIP support is probably nothing, last month’s poll had them jumping up five points, this month has them dropping the same amount, both the up and the down are likely normal sample variation.

The rest of the poll included some interesting questions on spending and the deficit ahead of next week’s autumn statement. During the last Parliament the government’s cuts were often unpopular, but the public consistently regarded them as being necessary. MORI’s poll suggests potential trouble for the government there – two-thirds of people still think the cuts in the last Parliament were necessary, but support for further cuts is far lower. 34% think that it is still necessary to make more cuts, 32% think cuts in the last Parliament were necessary, but it’s not necessary any more, 27% think cuts were never necessary in the first place.

Asked where any cuts should and shouldn’t fall international aid, as usual, comes top on the things people would like to see cut (59%), followed by benefit payments (36%), then defence (19%). On things they’d like to see protected from cuts the NHS, as usual, comes top (73%), followed by schools (39%) and care for the elderly (28%). Full tabs for the MORI poll are here.

ComRes also have new polling for the Daily Mail today (full tabs here). Support for British airstrikes against ISIS in Syria was similar to YouGov’s poll yesterday (60% support, 24% opposition), support for intervention on the ground was higher than YouGov’s poll – in a generic question people supported British troops getting involved in a ground war against ISIS by 50% to 31%, when asked if they’d support British grounds getting involved alongside the US or France support rose to 59%.

88 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 41, LAB 34, LD 7, UKIP 7, GRN 4”

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  1. Good morning all from a very crisp and sunny East Renfrewshire. Nice to be back in ole Alba for a couple of days.

    I’ve just been looking at the candidate line up for the Oldham West and Royton by-election.

    Monster Raving Loony ….Sir Oink A-Lot

    UKIP….John Bickley

    Liberal Democrat ……Jane Brophy

    Conservative….James Daly

    Green……Simeon Hart

    Labour…..Jim McMahon

    Not seen any polling on the constituency yet by I have two predictions. Labour will hold the seat comfortably and the Monster candidate will poll more votes than the [Lib Dems.]

  2. COLIN

    I’m finding that I agree with your last couple of posts. Have you been rehabilitated? ;-)

  3. ALLAN

    Perhaps you have ? :-)

  4. All this stuff about unemployment causing terrorism is entirely fatuous. Many of those who have either committed terrorist acts or are under suspicion, are highly educated and are either still in or have given up jobs. Two doctors tried to attack an airport a few years ago you may remember and two of the French terrorists ran a bar until a month or so ago. IS or whatever you want to call it, seems to recruit from all walks of life.

    The thing that binds these strange people is not that they are downtrodden. It is that as the only true believers, they consider themselves to be superior to all other human beings.

  5. RMJ1,

    It’s “Now-more-than-ever”-ism. When something awful happens, there is always a temptation to fit it into an existing narrative: “Now, more than ever, we need to do X!”

  6. COLIN
    Yes, a tiny minority of activists. There are no statistics to tell us what are the numbers of the larger minority of young Islamic men and women who feel or are alienated, except perhaps those for the unemployed – which are double the number of unemployed in the population as a whole, and assumption which we can make on the evidence of the effects of unemployment and the isolation this brings from a society which offers jobs, incomes, marriage and housing, and the good life to the majority..
    However, was there not a poll recently reported here, which indicated that 27% of young men and women of Muslim origin felt that the ISIS Paris attackers were, in some way, justified? On what grounds, I wonder.
    Perhaps you have better or other statistics? (I do not mean this ironically


    @” On what grounds, I wonder.”

    You seem inclined towards “unemployment” as the answer.

    I don’t.

    I don’t know if you have read IS’s chilling online journal, Dabiq? I did recently , for the first time.

    I thought about its contents too when I read this :-


    In the context of the 27% OP indicator you refer to, I was struck by this passage from that article :-

    ” George Orwell confessed that he had “never been able to dislike Hitler”; something about the man projected an underdog quality, even when his goals were cowardly or loathsome. “If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon.” The Islamic State’s partisans have much the same allure. They believe that they are personally involved in struggles beyond their own lives, and that merely to be swept up in the drama, on the side of righteousness, is a privilege and a pleasure—especially when it is also a burden.”

    I think the answer to your 27% question is to be found in the history of Islamic imperialism, and in the plasticity of Koranic interpretation which that religion facilitates.

  8. I think we have established that there is a fundamental difference in the attitude and behaviour of at least some Moslems in this country compared to Hindus and Sikhs. Whether this is because of the religion itself or some other cultural factor (which would itself be influenced by religion), I don’t know.

    Do pollsters ever ask about the religion of respondents? I’ve not noticed such a question in the past, but the results might be very interesting.

  9. “I feel reasonably confident in the belief that very very few of them have beheaded anyone, strapped on a suicide vest, or thought remotely about joining an organisation in order to murder people who don’t adhere to a particular interpretation of the Koran.”

    This is a contemptible, bordering on infantile, parody of what some people are thoughtfully arguing when considering the hellishly complex set of circumstances that lead to Islamic terrorism. Of course nobody is arguing that unemployment is the cause of what we saw on the streets of Paris a week or ago, or that every terrorist will come from an impoverished background, but it is reasonable and legitimate to explore some of the social and political issues that may incubate home grown terrorists; French, Belgian or British people resorting to the mass killing of their fellow citizens. Some of that could be down to religious fanaticism and twisted interpretations of the Koran, or deep anger and grievance at western policy in the Middle East, but to ignore some of the causes of the hopeless alienation these people feel within the countries they live, and then attack, is to avoid inconvenient truths. We need remember that none of these atrocities can happen without there being people willing to commit them and, in the main, these people aren’t being imported, they’re here, with us, amongst us, now. We need to understand the circumstances that create them and that needs deep thought and a preparedness to confront aspects of our own society. That requires courage as well as intellect.

    When I see comments like the one above on UKPR, I do wonder if people can ever take off the party political goggles through which they view everything, ranging from economic policy to terrorism, with all points in between. Serial offenders, dominating threads and jumping all over every comment that infuriates them.

  10. Since it’s safe to say that attitudes within the Moslem community must be amongst the most pressing questions of our time, why do we have almost zero polling data to draw on?
    That 60% of the general population now support airstrikes is far less interesting information than what the Moslem population supports or opposes.
    We know what labour voters think about corbyn, what scottish voters think about trident, what the welsh think about Europe.

  11. I think there’s probably a need to distinguish between the motivations of people who runaway to fight for Daesh and the motivations of people, in the region, who fight for Daesh. These are not likely to be similar and there is no benefit to understanding confusing the two.

    Woods in his, okay but not brilliant, article is certainly correct in that many of the people who run away to fight for Daesh probably do feel themselves wrapped up in some cause bigger than themselves. But then there’s another level that needs to be investigated which is why do they feel that way, or why are drawn to that believe. Undoubtedly the answer for a significant number will be ‘they’re nasty sh*ts’, but I’d be very surprised if that covers all of them.

    Also, worth considering that Daesh’s explicit goal is to sow discord among the western states and create a backlash against Muslims, and increase the levels of intervention in the region (scaling towards war). Perhaps we should consider why this might be, before we go leaping in with both feet and do what they want?

  12. COLIN
    “I think the answer to your 27% question is to be found in the history of Islamic imperialism, and in the plasticity of Koranic interpretation which that religion facilitates.”

    Not only there, Colin, but in the understanding in neo-Marxism such as that of Paul Freye and Ivan Illich, for example, which argued that rationally there is an alternative to a civilisation based on capital accumulation and its uses in creating social institutions, including those of the market, which are based on inequality. That was the lesson which Pol Pot learned in Paris in the 60″s. Similar teaching in Islamic tracts and preaching would have us discard not just the economic systems of post-industrial society but also its culture and history, its use of literacy, and of course its judeo-Christianity and its various churches and teacings. The trouble with undertaking such a transition is , if founded on Islam of the kind which the Ottoman Empire was founded ,it demands conquest and defeat of political forces, territory and systems, as does the attempt by Daesh to create an Islamic Caliphate. Also founded on these teachings, it requires the destruction of faith-based or infidel populations and the killing or rape of their adherents goes along with it.
    Madness? Not at all. Hellish and evil? Absolutely, as we’ve found with other totalitarian regimes within European history
    But in respect of the, as you say, small but activist minority which are recruited to its cause, in this country and Europe, you must still answer the question, what is the breeding ground, specifically for this deeply alienated group of our own youth within our society though with access to teachings and interests which clash with it. In that context unemployment and its traumatic effect and scarring may not be the only cause, but that they are a contributory cause cannot be denied. Further, they are accessible to social policies and actions within the powers of governments.

  13. Pete b. No we haven’t. No.
    Your black shirt blue shirt comment nailed your colours firmly to the mast.

  14. A very large proportion of the ISIS army is mercenary (between 1/3 and 2/3 depending on the losses). This makes the picture more complex.

    Also a large proportion of the Iranian expeditionary forces in Syria are also mercenaries (Afgans).

    Unemployment matters (although to me it is more about hope in the future rather than unemployment). Because of the demography in the Middle and Near East a billion jobs have to be created … The Arab Spring correlates with the Great Recession.

  15. Radicalisation goes every way. Yesterday in Wroclaw the effigy of an Orthodox Jew was burnt. Public support was evident.

  16. “it is reasonable and legitimate to explore some of the social and political issues that may incubate home grown terrorists; French, Belgian or British people resorting to the mass killing of their fellow citizens”

    As it is reasonable (and possibly more accurate?) to try to understand these actions in the context of how both Muslim Hadith and the Koran mandates Jihad against non-Muslims (infidel Kuffar).

    In particular in ‘lands that were once part of the house of God’ (i.e. once overseen by Islamic rule/ Muslim rulers- for example most of Spain) or in the lands of infidels fighting true believers within the house of God- the Paris murderers mentioned Syria/ Caliphate (speaking in French and English).

    The best analysis (‘IMHO’) of a fraught last 7 days: here from Washington Post


  17. PS More poor polling for the Corbynites.

    After an utterly disastrous (Labour) week rather hoping we don’t have any polls for a month or two !

  18. Anthony, can YouGov do a poll of British Muslims? This would be very informative, and surely some vested interest or the other could be persuaded to fund it, in the hope it would support their position.

    Our primary interest in Britain is the health of our own society, albeit that many of us have wider concerns.

  19. @John Chanin

    Our primary interest in Britain is the health of our own society, albeit that many of us have wider concerns.

    Any polling of British Muslims would rapidly become a stick with which to beat them, and spun by various groups in the political arena to spread the seeds of discontent.

    I would be very worried about such polling taking place.

    Whether this polling happens I guess is down to who is willing to pay for it.


    @” Hellish and evil? Absolutely”

    We are agreed.

    @” In that context unemployment and its traumatic effect and scarring may not be the only cause, but that they are a contributory cause cannot be denied.”

    But-as I tried to pint out-most unemployed young people do not resort to religious zealotry & murder.

    Then we need an analysis of the social & employment status of British Jihadis-as has been said some appear to be “middle class”
    & distinctly Un-deprived. .

    I think the more interesting question is-why do a tiny minority of young people from Islamic backgrounds think that IS is an attractive idea.? The answers should ideally contain demographic analysis in order to focus on the particular issue of unemployment which you are concerned about.

    John, after watching those Turkish football fans boo the minutes silence for Parisian victims-I am prepared to believe almost anything.

  21. @anarchist unite

    “Perhaps we should consider why this might be, before we go leaping in with both feet and do what they want?”

    What ‘they’ want is an empire (caliphate) stretching from the ‘Stans through the middle east and north africa into Spain.

    Ruled by a hard core notion of Sharia.

    I don’t know your sexuality, but as an ‘anarchist’ infidel you’d be one of the first to get chucked alive off the nearest tall building. Such strict interpretations of Sharia as utilised by ISIS et al do not accept disobedience: even if it does come packaged up in fashionable terms!

    Weasel words and apologism aren’t going to tackle that sense of destiny and fanaticism. Sadly.

    I welcome the UNSC resolution and Labour will now have to have a free vote- unless they are to be on the wrong side of history (alongside Corbyn and cronies).


    @”I welcome the UNSC resolution and Labour will now have to have a free vote- unless they are to be on the wrong side of history (alongside Corbyn and cronies).”


  23. @Rob Sheffield

    Oh Rob, you really are amusing. Did you honestly think that I wasn’t aware that, if I was caught by Daesh or Saudi Arabia, I would be one of the first on the beheading line? I’m well aware of it, yet I don’t feel the need to clutch my handbag and scream in terror.

    Certainly, Daesh want to establish a calipahte. They also want increased western intervention. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive goals for them. Maybe we should think on why this might be?

    As for weasel words or apologism, can you point to them? As I already said yesterday attempting to explain why people do things is not the same as justifying or excusing it. You may want to go on a rampaging bombing run into the region, which is entirely your prerogative, but shouting down everyone without the same close-minded approach won’t get anyone anywhere.

  24. My frustration with Jeremy Corbyn is not with his positions on issues; it’s because he’s had over 40 years to form his principles & positions but still seems unable to clearly articulate them.

    I sometimes feel like I’ve done more preparation to speak about these issues when I go door knocking than he has when speaking ‘to’ millions of people on broadcast TV.

  25. Mark W
    “Your black shirt blue shirt comment nailed your colours firmly to the mast.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that, but all I was trying to do by talking about people in blue shirts blowing us up was to take any suggestion of racism or religious bias out of the discussion by trying to explain why people might be a bit more wary of Moslems in general after the latest attacks in Paris, Mali, etc. Obviously some people didn’t get the point.

  26. COLIN and ROB
    Are you sure that you can predict the course of history, and that there are only two sides to it? That ISIS Daesh will be removed from N. Africa and the M.E. seems pretty certain, since there are only a few thousand of them with, admittedly,, a lot of weaponry and some powerful backing.
    The two sides which Rob perceives – which I assume are, based,. for argument’s sake,,are that which may result from military intervention and that which may result from diplomatic engagement and the cutting off of supplies and revenues.
    They aren’t two sides; the latter has to be undertaken and the former is a matter of expanding what is already being done.
    A critical factor, though, is that these are policing actions, not warfare, which would give Daesh a place of sovereignty in its present status and in history. This is, above all, not a crusade, in which we feel obliged to send our chldren to die. It is one in which we need our leaders to make the best choice of contribution to an international response to criminality.

  27. “are based” on the opposed positions of Corby and Cameron,…

  28. Ahem, I’ve asked this already, but can we please put a stop to arguing about what each other thinks is the appropriate course of action in Syria or against ISIS. I appreciate people have strong feelings, this is not the place to argue them – it is already devolving into people accusing one another of people apologists for terror, using weasel words and whatever. Stop it now, or I’ll just put people who keep on doing it on moderation.

    JC & CatmanJeff – Nope. There are lots of logistical problems with polling British Muslims, YouGov have enough British Muslims on the panel to draw a decent sized sample, but probably not a representative one. Certainly people for whom English is a second language they are not wholly fluent in are likely to be under-represented, and I expect people on the panel are skewed towards those who are well integrated into British society. On a subject as sensitive as this, we are extremely wary of doing a poll when we know that a sample of Muslims would probably be pretty flawed. It goes double when we know the sort of way figures from polls of British Muslims are often used and abused by people, Maria Sobolewska at Manchester University (who did the Ethnic Minority British Election Study in 2010 – sadly not repeated at this election) makes a very good point that when people do polls of British Muslims asking about sympathy for political violence and terrorism they rarely if ever do parallel polls of non-Muslims that, when they are done, show there is also a small minority of non-Muslims who have sympathy for terrorism.

  29. Old Nat (last night’s reply 1125 pm)

    Thanks – I will go and read NC (had forgotten about him /her).

    I suppose it will be relevant whether Anthony and the other colleagues agree with his analysis?

  30. My wife and I voted for Andy Burnham in the leadership election, but were strangely elated when Corbyn won with such a convincing victory – feeling that it might be the start of something really different – a sort of “Heineken moment” amongst the wider electorate beyond the party too. However, like the voters in general, looking at the evidence of polling, JC is just not getting the tone right – even for his own stance – let alone those of us who are not pacifists at all costs – that such disappointment is beginning to set in so soon is worrying. I hope he can strike a better reflective tone that chimes better with a wider audience than in evidence so far….

  31. I think it is necessary to be cautious about ascribing some blanket reason as to why individuals are attracted to a movement with a particular set of beliefs. I could describe a number of different scenarios without much effort. And individuals will have varying levels of commitment to that cause.

    One of the things that I have noticed from a number of the atrocities in Europe, is that a proportion of the so-called home-grown terrorists have had a record as a petty criminal, and have often also been fanatical about sport or body-building. I noticed because those individuals did not fit my prejudice of a religious zealot and clearly I was wrong.

  32. @Tony Dean

    Of course not getting the tone right, or not being in step with the national mood is not a sign of being wrong. The national mood or tone on a subject is very often not evidence based.

    It quite possible, if not likely, that Jeremy’s approach to the current state of affairs is rejected by the broader in public.

    Whether he is right will be known in the future.

  33. Who funds ISIS? Saudi Arabia? I can’t think of anyone else.

    The SNP recently passed a conference resolution against military intervention but with a get out clause referencing the UN. The fact the French resolution passed probably gives the SNP enough wiggle room to support military intervention. Politically it would be very risky for them but Sturgeon does seem to be leaning that way.

    As a female, the threat of Shari law is horrible and I hate how women are treated in fundamentalist countries, it angers me that we stand by and let Saudi, India and other fundamentalist countries get away with treating women as second class citizens. The idea that ISIS want to impose Shari law on most of the world and the consequences for women’s rights makes me more pro-war than I would normally be.

  34. Sharia autocorrected to Shari for some reason.

  35. I take the point that findings could be abused, although I still think it’s something I would want to know if I had responsibility for community cohesion. Findings could also provide reassurance and identify levels of concern among Muslims themselves, so this is double-edged.

    Getting good samples of minority groups is always fraught, but I have certainly taken samples in surveys I have run. How representative they might have been can of course be questioned.

  36. I can understand the women that travel to be brides – just normal hormonal stupidity of young women – who are easily conned and find the idea of a fighters glamorous and romantic.

    I wonder how many men are attracted to ISIS because in their culture women are totally second class and I can imagine inadequate young guys might find this attractive.

  37. In order to recruit, they will likely try and play to several motivations at once.

    Which gives ample room for commentators to cherry pick which bits of the recruitment package suit one’s worldview as an explanation of what’s going on…

  38. AW
    Point taken. However, a fundamental question which was pursued in an otherwise, I think, civilsed exchange with Colin et al. is whether,along with voodoo polls, findings from legitimately conducted polls (and referenda) and thus VI are based on any fully informed awareness of the complexities of the choice to be made, in this instance in respect of the social motivation of recruitment to or support for ISIS and our willingness for the UK to engage in military action against iSIS; but similarly in a previous post on “should we stay in the EU” and what actually is the purpose and intent of the Government and the opposition parties. Polls have a role to play in the work of the Fourth Estate, essentially in setting an example in getting the wording and the evidence right, in which one hopes that this blog assists UKPR.

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