Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out today, with topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. Full details and tables are here.

MORI also asked respondents to choose between the parties on various more specific measures – a bank of questions with back data going back to 1989:

  • On having the “best policies for the country as a whole” the Conservatives now lead by ten points (compared to a two point Tory lead in 2010 and 2014, and a Labour lead from 1992 to 2005).
  • On being the most clear and united about its policies the Conservatives lead by twenty points (compared to ten points in 2014, five points in 2010. The last time there was a lead this big was a 31 point lead for Labour in 2001.)
  • On having the best “team of leaders” the Conservatives lead by twenty-seven points (compared to eleven points in 2014 and five points in 2010 – again you need to go back to Labour in 2001 to find a larger lead)
  • The only measure where Labour haven’t collapsed is “looking after the interests of people like yourself” – here the Conservatives have a narrow lead of four points, compared to a two point Labour lead in 2014 and a four point Tory lead in 2010.

The poll also had questions about two policy issues facing Labour. One was Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that companies should be barred from paying dividends if they don’t pay the living wage. In principle this idea seems popular – 66% of people say they would support it, 17% of people would be opposed. In the survey MORI did a split sample experiment and asked the other half of the sample about the policy without any attribution, and half about it having explained it was Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion. When the policy was identified as coming from Corbyn support was lower – 60% support, 24% opposed.

The obvious conclusion is that identifying a policy as coming from Jeremy Corbyn makes it less popular. This is probably true… but I wouldn’t get too excited about it. Conservative party modernisers used to make their case using similar data showing policies were less popular when associated with the Conservative party. I think the reality is that strong partisan supporters of other political parties will almost always be turned off a policy when it is associated with an opponent, so yes, putting Jeremy Corbyn’s name to a policy would make it less popular, but so would putting the Labour party’s name to the policy, or the Conservative party’s name, or Osborne or Cameron’s name.

The other policy MORI asked about was Trident. 58% of people opposed Britain getting rid of nuclear weapons, rising to 70% when it was asked specifically about unilateral disarmament… a similar figure to when MORI asked the same question in the 1980s.


111 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 31, LD 7, UKIP 11, GRN 4”

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  1. @colin – agreed. As time ticks by, the ability to blame the other lot wanes.

    I think we are also seeing the impact of the succession here as well. Osborne trumpets something, and Boris, Javid, May etc don’t leap to his side in support, and if they possibly can, throw a stone or two into his pool. This will be a recurring issue for the government I suspect.

    On the problem itself, yes, a turnover tax may be helpful as a replacement. It’s easier to do this now, as the CT rates are equalized between large and small firms, but it does still have some problems. A business can have high turnover and small margins, for all kinds of reasons. For internet firms in particular, operating costs can be low, so there is a risk that switching from profit to turnover taxes hurts certain types of enterprise with a higher cost base.

    My prefered route though, as I have said previously, os simply to ban tax havens. The UK until a week or so back had very stringent sanctions in place against Iran, with criminal sanctions against transgressors. Tax havens harm the UK population far more than Iran has ever done, so prevent all trade with them.

    @Millie – Flying by the seat of one’s pants bottom up sounds exciting, if somewhat difficult.

    Have you ever tried it?

  2. ALEC

    Yes -no Tax Havens would help-but if you still have different CT rates across nations the pull of lower taxes is still there -IF you can divert your taxable income there.

    I don’t think a turnover tax does it-and you have identified an area of potential unfairness for low margin companies.

    I think the idea of taxing distributions of profit rather than profit itself has merit.

  3. @ Millie

    I would take the Telegraph piece with a large pinch of salt.

    Jeremy Corbyn agreed to stand after a long discussion within the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. It was not certain that any left wing candidate would get enough nominations from the PLP but the practice of putting forward a candidate is completely normal as evidenced by John McDonnell’s failure to get enough nominations in 2007 and by Dianne Abbott’s success in 2010.

    As Owen Jones, and many others have said, there was absolutely no expectation that JC could win. The concern was that he come a respectable 4th. So no, there was no left wing plot or coup.

    However, what was so impressive to people like me was the constant stream of well thought out policies that Team Corbyn produced. It highlighted the paucity from the other three candidates.

    So, Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature was not scraping the barrel; there was no expectation of him winning; and he has an overwhelming mandate from the membership across a fairly comprehensive policy programme. The most notable thing about Jeremy Corbyn is that he says that he doesn’t do personality politics. He always uses ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. I imagine that if he were to stand down that would also be a collective decision.

  4. Lawson’s tax proposal is a very interesting idea (I wonder where he got it from). I haven’t seen details of what he is suggesting, but I am guessing that he proposes taxing sales, less permitted deductions, eg. employment costs, material purchase, rent heat and light etc. Done properly it would be almost identical to Corporation tax as is it is now for small an medium sized UK companies. The key difference is that multi-nationals would not be able to reduce tax with some new accounting wheeze to reduce their UK profits.

    I know that the Diverted profits tax will attack to two of the present most common ploys, excessive charges for corporate services and IP, but if that works (it has yet to be attacked in Court), the MNs will think of something new. Lawson’s suggestion would mean that Companies new tax reducing techniques would not be allowed until HMRC say they are allowed. Lawson’s suggestion also neatly evades the whole complex mess of tax treaties which make it very difficult to actually *do* something. The some of the best paid lawyers are tax lawyers, and the best paid tax lawyers are international tax lawyers. It looks very neat to me, but then I am not a lawyer.

  5. RODGER

    @” I am guessing that he proposes taxing sales, less permitted deductions, eg. employment costs, material purchase, rent heat and light etc. ”

    Don’t think so-thats just the existing system-Taxable Profit=Sales less Tax Deductible costs.

    He proposes taxing Sales-obviously at a pretty low rate. He says “sales are where they are, and can’t be shifted”-but its not clear to me how he deals with the practice of taking orders in one country & billing from a different country. I don’t think it is entirely free from the potential for shifting .

  6. @COLIN

    If it’s done that way it will make it very hard to run a low margin business in the UK. As it is low margin businesses that provide an awful lot of jobs for the un-qualified/skilled that would damage economy, and have a horrible out-turn for the public finances. It would lead to a dramatic increase in unemployment, and unless investment costs at the very minimum provide relief from sales tax it will seriously damage investment. Otherwise the tax would have to be at such a low level that it wouldn’t bring in any actual money. So I don’t think it can be done like that.

  7. RODGER

    I agree-but none of the alternatives to CT will be entirely free , absent completely uniform Tax Codes across all tax jurisdictions.

    This is a problem for many countries. Perhaps Consumers have to step into the battle-they have much more influence than politicians.

    Do you use Google every time ?-I do.

  8. @COLIN

    I avoid google if at all possible. Any kind of technical question and I get 10 pages of people trying to sell me something. I prefer duckduckgo.com, it give me better, less monetized results.

    Consumers will do what consumers always do, go for what’s cheapest.

  9. RODGER

    They will indeed.

  10. @Rodger

    Duckduckgo.com also don’t collect personal data like google.

    :-)

  11. @Syzygy

    “I would take the Telegraph piece with a large pinch of salt.”

    Not bad advice at the best of times! It would appear that the gist of the piece, based on a recently released book, is that Corbyn wasn’t necessarily the Left’s preferred stalking horse candidate and they had others more in mind. So far so uninteresting. Then, when the field became vacant, and Corbyn got the necessary MP nominations to run, they rallied behind him. Well, there’s a shocker, if ever I heard one. It then goes on to suggest that he didn’t really expect to win. Crikey, knock me over with a feather.

    This is just another example of lazy journalism from a newspaper that wishes both Corbyn and Labour ill. Most of the people who will read it do too.

    Why people bring these sorts of articles along to a website dedicated to the non-partisan discussion of political polling is anyone’s guess. Anthony once described it as akin to dogs dutifully bringing sticks to the feet of their master and then waiting for a stroke or a pat on the head. Silliness, really.

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