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. Eh? Has the wonderfulness of Crosby not been polled? Shouldn’t there be a Crosby tracker or summat?…

  2. Pretty bad poll for both Labour and Corbyn, although they’re not in quite the cavernous holes that Foot’s Labour were in the heady days of the Alliance and the Tories were for most of the late 90s and early noughties. This isn’t quite all let’s go hang ourselves stuff, although Rob Sheffield would heartily disagree with me, I’ve no doubt, but it does stake out the precipitous mountain that needs to be climbed by Labour generally and Corbyn in particular.

    Like most oppositions in most Parliaments that I can recall, you’re basically stuffed if the economy is doing well and the majority of people’s living standards are improving. There’s nowt much you can do about it unless the government self implodes on other issues, but should the economy start to tank, and that can happen quickly in the febrile post crash world, then you need to be able to exploit the fall out. The polls will turn quickly, I suspect, and voters may want to listen to the opposition once again.

    My crude feel for the current political weather at the moment is that this government isn’t much loved, and wasn’t really in May last year either, and I think that they would be in deep trouble very quickly if the economy hit the buffers. I don’t think they’ve got much political credit in the bank with the electorate beyond the claim that they’re clearing up Labour’s mess. If it appears that they aren’t, or they haven’t, then I could see things unravelling for them very quickly. Cameron’s Conservatives are a one trick pony in many ways. It’s a big trick, because the economy is a big issue, but the Emperor will have no clothes if things take a turn for the worse.

    40% VI only 8 months after an election win, with the economy and wages growing and with Corbyn making a pig’s ear of things, doesn’t strike me as a Government riding a wave of popular support. Old Maggie would have been worried by only a 9% poll lead in her heyday. Heads would be rolling in Tory HQ by now! Messengers blood on the floor and all that.

    :-)

  3. Do we know what (if any) adjustments ipsos have made since the election? How “adjusted” is this?

  4. Crossbat11,

    Maggie would have feared the polls more than Cameron (or any other sane person) does now.

  5. @Crossbat

    When are these guys gonna poll regularly about the cricket, then we can track how sporting success or failure really does or doesn’t correlate with VI etc.

  6. @Carfew

    England are touring South Africa again in the winter of 2019/20, some four or five months before the 2020 election. What do you think? The Saffers turn us over good and proper and it’s curtains for the Tories in May?? Ben Stokes, our future is in your hands!

    More to the point, it’s the European football championships in 2020, although they take place after the election. That said, what if we fail to qualify? Will the Tories take a hit. Ross Barkeley holding up the European Championship Cup or the Tories evicted from Downing Street?

    It’s a toughie.

    :-)

  7. Considering everything, not a bad poll for JC and his group – rather bad for the rest of the PLP.

    Still caveats mentioned by OldNat and potential over adjustment could play a role (Green at 4 seems to be high and perhaps also the LD at 7).

    But even if it is a bit skewed, it is perhaps close to the mood outside Labour’s strong regions (cf OldNat’s link to a panel). Yet we still have a degree of discrepancy between the headline figure and the supplementary ones.

  8. Crossbat11

    I almost get the impression that you are ‘hoping’ for another ‘crash?’ If that is the only thing you think can change the current situation it is a pretty sad state of affairs.

  9. The Tories must be very pleased with this poll, especially as economic confidence has dropped to its lowest level since 2013.

    I don’t agree with CROSSBAT11 that the Tories would necessarily be in trouble if there were economic difficulties, or that they only have one issue in their favour.

  10. I despair of the Labour Party, I really do. The British people are a small “c” conservative bunch and don’t take much interest in politics, until about a fortnight before a GE. CB11 is right in that regard but they do take notice when the leader of HM opposition says:

    Give the Falklands to the Argies
    Jihadi John should have been arrested
    Let’s have nuclear subs without nukes

    Can’t the Labour supporters see that this sort of drivel will keep them in opposition for years?

  11. It should also be of some comfort to Labour that its support has not fallen from May 2015 despite Corbyn’s missteps. I very much share Crossbat’s analysis . The economy is certainly slowing down but this has yet to percolate through to voters’ day to day experiences. Things will change quickly if and when things go ‘tits up’ again. From a Labour perspective Year 3 of the Parliament would be the best time for this to happen. – as occurred during the 1987 and 1959 Parliaments.

  12. Jasper22

    Agree totally.most worrying thing for Labour must be that this has all happened in only 4 months. Goodness knows how many more of these gaffes there will be by 2020?

    Constructive opposition first please, completely bonkers stuff afterwards!

  13. @Graham

    The economic and electoral cycles aligned very fortuitously for Osborne during the last Parliament, and whereas there was some luck involved, particularly on things like oil and energy prices, you have to give him some credit for aligning things quite neatly in a fixed term when an election couldn’t be called at the government’s convenience.

    I wonder if things will align so neatly in 2020? I think much of it depends on whether China’s economy gets a soft landing. If it doesn’t, then Osborne’s cocktail will taste very bitter.

  14. “From a Labour perspective Year 3 of the Parliament would be the best time for this to happen. – as occurred during the 1987 and 1959 Parliaments.”

    But it didn’t help Labour win the general elections in either case.

  15. The Labour supporters and sympathisers here are demonstrating the same blinkered “analysis” as they have for the last five plus years.

    A couple of posts in this thread, and most threads, are just ridiculous. The public are always just about to see the error of their ways. The Tories are always just about to implode. The public are always just about to recognise the decency and competency of Labour.

    Every time I visit this site, no matter how bad the polling for Labour, you just know what you are going to read in the comments section here. It is tragic, but fascinating. Utterly delusional.

  16. Somewhat off topic, but I guess this is related to polling at least tangetially and it is really bugging me.

    In the most recent issue of the New Statesman, there is an article called “should Labour split?” in which several contributors, mostly Labour politicians but a few others, give their views on current divides in the Labour Party. (Unsurprisingly, every single contributor says “no” except for Tim Farron who doesn’t bother to address the question and instead uses the column space to justify the continued existence of his party – something he really has to stop doing as the more he insists they still matter the more he puts the idea in people’s minds that they don’t. Okay, rant over.)

    Anyway, one contributor is Peter Kellner. (And I should point out for legal reasons that the opinions expressed here are not those of Anthony Wells – I would hate to see you in hot water with your boss about this Anthony.) He uses his answer to launch a call to arms for Labour moderates to wrestle control of the party back, imploring them to undermine Corbyn at every opportunity, drop their facade of friendliness, and ultimately put so much pressure on him that he feels compelled to resign.

    Peter Kellner’s contribution is noted as being written “in a personal capacity”, but I still feel it is not right for a pollster to be making such comments, not least ones as unequivocal as this.

  17. Anthony

    You have an error in your post. The English figures for all the parties you name are 1% higher than those you give.

    I presume you meant to give the English figures, since you only choose to mention those parties that operate in England. If you meant to give the GB figures, then you omitted the party that came above the Greens in VI [1].

    Of course, you might be trolling – but surely that joke has worn rather thin by now?

    My comment is, however, more than just a Caledonian gripe!

    If pollsters are going to continue their outdated practice of pretending that there is a “GB” political system to be polled (having long understood that there is not a UK one) then they should be consistent.

    Ipsos-MORI conducted what was an essentially English poll – as only the leaders of those parties operating in England were asked about. Helpfully, they disaggregate, then re-aggregate, their geographical samples to produce an “English” figure.

    In a GB poll, pollsters should cover politics across GB. If it’s an English poll, then don’t include Scots or Welsh respondents.

    Pollsters create the worst of all scenarios by continuing to act as if GB/UK was just a continuation of the English bubble.

    I’m quite happy to see Scots polled less frequently in GB polls – especially on English only issues – and for us to have only the polling that our smaller population would justify.

    Those in England (or E&W) would then get (slightly) more accurate polling – which they are entitled to expect.

    [1] The 1% higher VI for the SNP is, of course, illusory, since the SNP only had marginally more supporters than the Greens across GB – but you do love rounding!

  18. Terrible poll for Corbyns version of Labour: whereas the anti CND PLP come out quite well. This will continue all the way through to the next election the MPs make a UDI in Parliament or the stress does for him. Though he does seem somebody utterly untroubled by the increasing inevitability of catastrophic defeat!

  19. @Polltroll

    “He uses his answer to launch a call to arms for Labour moderates to wrestle control of the party back, imploring them to undermine Corbyn at every opportunity, drop their facade of friendliness, and ultimately put so much pressure on him that he feels compelled to resign.”

    I thought that was what they were already trying to do.

  20. Norfolkandgood
    ‘But it didn’t help Labour win the general elections in either case.’

    With respect Labour DID win the election at the end of the 1959 Parliament – ie in 1964. Moreover at the end of the 1987 Parliament – in 1992- Labour made a net gain of 42 seats compared with 1987 despite the Tories having been forced to ditch Thatcher. Had the latter not occurred I suspect that Labour’s gains would have gained a good deal more.

  21. Rob Sheffield
    ‘Terrible poll for Corbyns version of Labour: ‘

    Labour’s share is unchanged from what it polled in May 2015 – 31%.Not good I agree – but not exactly ‘terrible’ either.

  22. Isn’t Corbyn’s rating of -18 pretty good, compared with some of the scores recorded quite recently?

    Be better if the Trident polling included the cost of it as part of the question. It’s hardly an irrelevant point.

  23. @JimmytheGreek

    “A couple of posts in this thread, and most threads, are just ridiculous. The public are always just about to see the error of their ways. The Tories are always just about to implode. The public are always just about to recognise the decency and competency of Labour.”

    Competition time. Can anyone point to a single post on this thread when anyone has said or claimed any of these things?

    You really mustn’t parody opinions that are opposed to your own. It may irritate you to see such opinions expressed but misrepresenting them in this way does you little credit.

  24. Terrible poll. Tiny samples regionally, and about 750 nationally.

    Conservatives on 34% and Labour on 16% in Scotland? Nope.

    Not worth the money spent.

  25. While I think the outlook for Labour under JC looks tough, I think certain things need to be considered regarding these poll responses.

    David Cameron and the Conservatives have led the country for five years. David has led the Conservatives for ten years.

    Labour were soundly beaten in 2010, tired after frankly too long in Government. The 2015 Labour defeat was based on it being a cut and shut fix of the write off five years previous.

    The task facing Labour is immense. It needs to totally rebuild from the ground up. The relationship between most of the PLP and the membership is dysfunctional. To be united in terms of public perception, either the PLP needs to reflect the membership more, or the membership needs to row back and accept a more passive position.

    Labour need to be united, get some policy ideas on the big issues, and put these across as a bigger theme.

    Given this, as Labour are still currently staring at the smoking wreckage of the 2015 defeat, haven’t remotely unified and have no policy ideas coming forward, it is little wonder they are lagging as this poll shows. If Labour were even close at this stage it would a miracle.

    It will be tough, but this can change this in a year or two, if Labour get on with it.

    On the polls, casting my over them post election, on headline VI, Labour and the Conservatives are essentially where they were immediately after the election. Labour had modest rise from JC’s election to November, and the Conservatives a little dip over the same period. Both have reversed back to the previous.

  26. @Catmanjeff

    A good post and one with which I find myself in almost total agreement.

    Quite why at this early stage of the Parliament, and considering the prevailing economic and political circumstances, people expect the opposition to be surging in the opinion polls is quite beyond me, I have to say.

    That doesn’t mean, by the way, that Labour and Corbyn aren’t beset with major challenges and difficulties, or that they are on course to win in 2020. I make this point for the non-sequitor specialists amongst us who think that anything that departs from the Corbyn-is-an-utter-disaster- and-Labour-won’t- win- for-at-least-10 years narrative are craven apologists for him.

  27. @Crossbat11.

    Re JimmytheGreek

    He may be exaggerating for effect but I see his point.

    Certainly his characterisation is not too far off the nature of the “group think” that was occurring here before the last election.

    Very few anywhere predicted a Conservative majority but the prevalent view on this site was so far in the opposite direction it was astonishing.

    People are being more level headed here since the election (although I suspect this may be because we are still so far from the business end of this electoral cycle) but still there isn’t really a full acknowledgment of the parlous state of Labour.

    Does anyone seriously believe Labour would get 31% if an election occurred today? And the internals suggest the future looks just as bad.

    Yes I know there are plenty here who will be able to find something in the data to suggest things aren’t so bad and Labour have a good chance in 2020. But I have no wish to get into such a debate for the same reason I avoided it before the last election.

    Debating against hope and belief is usually futile.

  28. @Graham re an economic crash
    ” From a Labour perspective Year 3 of the Parliament would be the best time for this to happen”
    Have you considered that the recovery setting in by the end of the parliament would demonstrate the Conservatives’ greater competence in handling the economy, just in time for the election?
    It needs a booming economy for people to dare elect a Labour government to spend the money on what people want.
    (A bit tongue in cheek, perhaps)

  29. Politics can be about hope, mocking that is cynical. I despair that the current debates on many issues are relying on dog whistles, fear mongering and dead cats.

    For me another way is preferable and I remain hopeful.

  30. Hope may be essential to good policy but relying on hope when it comes to hard, cold electoral maths is foolish.

  31. I suspect the gently reduced number of posts on UKPR, while of course to be expected in a post-GE phase, is also symptomatic of disillusionment with polling. That, I think, is not just because of the predictive failure at the GE, but because the political outlook is more opaque than I can ever remember it. The huge unknowables hanging over the political environment render the ebb-and-flow of party political support almost irrelevant.

    The big unknowables include:

    * Will there be a new world recession?
    * Will there be a Brexit?
    * Will the Middles East situation and consequent refugee flows deteriorate or improve?

    To the first two, my gut feeling is moving towards a ‘yes” answer, maybe 60/40 likelihood for both. As to the ME, I have a hunch that in the medium term (1-2 years) there will be some sort of resolution as all the actors become weary (rather as in N Ireland).

    Given that the next UK GE is on the other side of all these events, I feel that poring over current polls is a bit like looking at current weather forecasts for clues as to what it will be like this time in 2020. Better to concentrate on more imminent votes like the referendum.

    For instance, as well as referendum VI, it would be interesting to see an outcome expectations tracker, and some exploration of public perceptions of the issues.

  32. I disagree. Hope is about the future. Opinion polls are by definition a snapshot of the past.

    I am not attempting deny the numbers but I remain hopeful we can all do politicking better with less fear mongering and distortion and more honesty.

    Cameron has fallen far from the gay marriage highs when he seemed to care. He has become a poorer statesmen.

  33. Man not men at the end above. Thankfully there is only one! Lols.

  34. Hm, some thoughtful posts on here. I’ll try to live up to the standard.

    Maybe some of the political excitement has been damped down by the fixed parliament legislation? In other times there might have been a smallish but real opportunity for an opposition to dislodge a government with a small majority. This is still just possible, but much less likely.

    Whether individuals think this is a reduction of democracy to some extent, or alternatively is introducing a bit of necessary stability is probably a matter of opinion.

    Still a lot of twists and turns before the likely general election in 2020, but according to the electoral commission there are a lot of elections this May – Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland and Welsh Assemblies, local government elections in England and the London Mayoral and Assembly elections. That will give us some data to go on.

  35. Mark W

    “Cameron has fallen far from the gay marriage highs when he seemed to care.”

    I do not wish to debate the subject but for some that was a Cameron low point.

    John

    “Does anyone seriously believe Labour would get 31% if an election occurred today? And the internals suggest the future looks just as bad.”

    No, I would expect 28-29%, with Tories on 39-41%.

  36. “Pretty bad poll for both Labour and Corbyn, although they’re not in quite the cavernous holes that Foot’s Labour were in the heady days of the Alliance and the Tories were for most of the late 90s and early noughties.”

    I disagree. I think Labour with Corbyn as leader would do far worse than either of the examples you cite at the 2020 general election. Labour support is holding at 30% at the moment but with the intense scrutiny of an election campaign that would be likely to drop to 25% or below IMO.

  37. “I do not wish to debate the subject but for some that was a Cameron low point.”

    ———

    In polling terms though, for all the complaints, it’s possible peeps are more concerned about mansion taxes and money stuff. Same with immigration. In the end, Tories didn’t lose that many to UKIP.

  38. @Crossbat

    Hmm. U.S. Versus Saffers? I’m usually wary of predictions, and this one’ tricky. Will Steyn et al still be playing? Our young team ought to be more consistent by then, but Saffers seem to have some prospects coming through. Anderson prolly gone, Broad a lot older… Will we have sorted the openers? Hmm…

  39. I typed “us” but autocorrect decided I meant the U.S…

  40. CARFREW

    I don’t think that many would be swayed in their voting by the reduction in benefits (called the mansion tax), nor do i think they would be swayed by the Amazon deal as there is a ready answer to it, i.e. its better than anything Labour achieved.

  41. @Dave
    ‘Have you considered that the recovery setting in by the end of the parliament would demonstrate the Conservatives’ greater competence in handling the economy, just in time for the election?
    It needs a booming economy for people to dare elect a Labour government to spend the money on what people want.’

    I believe that timing is pretty crucial here. Another recession in 2016 would indeed give the Tories time to recover by 2020, but by late 2017 or 2018 it might well be too late and many people would be likely to feel ‘duped’ by Osborne & Cameron back in 2015 when they sought to convey the message that the big sacrifices had already been made , that Osborne’s ‘Plan’ was working and that just a little more time would return us to economic sunshine. Once swing voters feel they have been misled it tends to be very difficult to regain trust – particularly for a Government which by 2020 will have been in office for ten years. There would be little inclination to give it the ‘benefit of the doubt’.
    Your final point re-a ‘booming economy’ being required is hardly supported by the facts. The economy was certainly not booming in early 1974 when Ted Heath was ousted following the 3-Day week election – nor in 1964 when Labour inherited a record Balance of Payments Deficit.

  42. @ToH

    Well you say that, but when you look at the way peeps voted, for all the bluster about immigration, SSM etc., other things seem more important.

    Maybe it was the storage tax that had everyone voting Tory…

  43. CARFREW

    “other things seem more important”

    Actually I agree with you, leadership and the who manages the economy best are still the main drivers of voting.

    Gay marriage probably had little or no effect on voting but the redefinition of marriage was totally unacceptable to some as i think you are already aware.

  44. @ STATGEEK

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Clearly polls showing the Tories at more than 30% to 31% should be ignored. The polls got it badly wrong in May 2015 and they’re getting it badly wrong again by failing to compensate for ‘shy Corbynistas’ (as we all know, Corbyn supporters are extremely shy and rarely voice their opinions in public).

  45. @Mark W:

    As I said, ideally I’d like to do my best to avoid getting drawn too deeply into this debate so I won’t go into specifics but I’ll make a brief general comment:

    Too often people rely on hope at the expense of logic. And the reason for that is simple. It is relatively easy to decide what you want and then simply “hope” you’ll get there.

    Being more logical and analytical is difficult for all kinds of reasons. Not only does it require more effort to find out the facts and then critically analyse them, the bigger problem for many seems to be accepting the difficult truths that critical thought throws up.

    There are potentially several ways of achieving a fairer and more compassionate society but we’ll never get there if we just rely on “hope”

    At the moment too many people are relying on hope, rather than analytically thinking; A, where are we really now; B, where do we really want to go and, most importantly, how can we get from A to B.

  46. Somerjohn – “The big unknowables include:
    * Will there be a new world recession?
    * Will there be a Brexit?”

    There’s going to be an asset price crash in London, fuelled by foreign investors drying up (collapsing oil price, collapsing rouble, collapsing far east currencies) plus brexit fears. It seems to have started already. See

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-28/london-home-presales-slump-19-as-demand-damped-by-sales-taxes

    It should mainly affect the high end though. I doubt it will affect the rest of the country because these types of investors don’t invest in Basingstoke or Bognor.

    I’ve no idea how it will play out in the London elections – cheaper homes should make renters feel they have a chance of buying. The home owners who own high end property will vote Tory anyway even if their home values decrease by a few hundred thousand.

    That article indicates a lot of construction and flat building was happening in London – if that stops, it will affect jobs in that sector. But again – not sure who does these jobs – are they Eastern Europeans or are they Brits? It’ll show up in the stats if they start claiming unemployment benefit though.

  47. @ToH

    They might be the main drivers for some. But for someone retired, for example a boomer in the south insulated from the economy, which has been buoyed up by policies on property and QE anyway, stuff like a mansion tax might matter more.

    You say the marriage thing was unacceptable to some, but in the end, how unacceptable? How many changed their vote on that basis?

  48. To be fair, there are shy Corby supporters – shy in the sense that they don’t turn up at the voting booths.

    Going through the supplementary questions – the conclusion goes against the PLP rather than Corbyn – but of course it doesn’t make Corbyn a winner … But the figures clearly point at the rebels (known as moderates). Yet, it’s too early as there will be too many events till 2020.

    It could be that Labour keeps on putting on votes in their safe places and lose elsewhere. Labour is incomparably more active in Liverpool and Manchester than they use to be and it seems (without comparison as I don’t know earlier states of affairs there) that they are active in places like Crewe and surroundings. They use a lot of articulate people (certainly more articulate than those appearing in newspapers). They also win local by elections (although they should win most of them, there tends to be an increased vote share).

    Confused bits – and I really don’t trust this particular poll, while I trust the supplementaries…

  49. John, indeed, but it is my hope in such challenging times that keeps me able to fight in other ways.

    I agree its an emotional response but it underpins I much else for me.

    Toh, gay marriage means I can marry, I am sure you can recognise that is amazing being married yourself. As a gay man I face prejudice nearly every day and I applauded David Cameron at the time for challenging this.

    I am saddened by how he has changed.

  50. CARFREW

    Re Gay marriage, as I said in an earlier post probably had no effect on voting at all.

    Mark W

    I understand your point of view and I am happy for you but there remain many who can only accept the old definition of marriage.

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