Ipsos MORI’s monthly poll for the Evening Standard follows the trend we’ve seen in other recent polls of a tightening gap between Conservative and Labour. Topline figures are CON 36%(-3), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 3%.

They also echo YouGov’s recent polling in showing strongly negative figures for George Osborne. Just after IDS’s resignation YouGov found Osborne’s ratings dropping to 17% good job, 58% bad job. MORI find very similar in their poll: before the budget they had Osborne’s net approval rating at minus 6, now it has slumped to minus 33 (27% satisfied, 60% disatisfied). The budget gets a solid thumbs down in the MORI poll, 53% think it is bad for the country, 30% good for the country.

There was also new ComRes EU referendum poll yesterday, conducted for ITV. Topline voting intention figures were REMAIN 48%, LEAVE 41%, Don’t know 11%. The seven point lead for remain is the smallest ComRes have so far shown in their telephone polls on the referendum (indeed, apart from the unusual ORB poll earlier this month it’s the lowest lead any telephone poll has shown for Remain). Full details are here. It will be interesting to see what the EU voting intention figures are in the MORI poll, and whether that big gulf between online and telephone EU polling is narrowing a little.


16 Responses to “Ipsos MORI show Tory lead down to two points”

  1. This direction of travel (if accurate) bodes ill for those who are descrying Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and who were relying on dismal results in May to pose a challenge.

  2. Apparently, although Anthony hasn’t mentioned it in his commentary, Corbyn’s personal ratings have overtaken those of Cameron’s according to this poll.

    If so, that is an utterly extraordinary development. Let’s await more polling, but something may be on the move here.

  3. Exciting times. Will be interesting to see if loss of support for Conservatives helps or hinders the Remain vote in EU… also interesting to see the LDs getting a little more support – although obviously too soon to say if it will last.

  4. Wayne – depending on what happens to public opinion in the next five weeks the local election results may still be pretty bad for Labour. On current polling Labour should win in London, and Wales is normally secure. Scotland is a write off of course, that leaves the local elections. Those seats were last fought in 2012, when Labour had a lead of 7-10 points in the polls, so a Labour position of roughly neck-and-neck in national polls would probably translate into local election losses.

  5. @Anthony

    “Those seats were last fought in 2012, when Labour had a lead of 7-10 points in the polls, so a Labour position of roughly neck-and-neck in national polls would probably translate into local election losses.”

    That was certainly the position in the polls at the time of the local elections, but can you recall the actual result? I’m not sure Labour won the popular vote by much in those elections, did they?

  6. Anthony

    “Wales is normally secure” [for Labour}

    But remember Scully’s analysis –

    Given that Labour in Wales have also tended regularly to do worse in actual elections than in opinion polls, the evidence at the moment suggests that Labour are likely to be in electoral retreat in 2016: the main questions would appear to be the scale of their loss in support and how many seats any such decline would see them lose.

  7. “Those seats were last fought in 2012, when Labour had a lead of 7-10 points in the polls”

    Pre-2015 polls though. Overestimate lib-dem surge at 2010 _seems_ instinctively like it could be the same ‘too much youth*’ thing. Also before UKIP really started working on locals, and (judging by those local-national extrapolations) Lib-Dems could fall another ~4%. And any amount of losses in Scotland can probably be excused in the eyes of the commentariat. I reckon the big story of May’ll be Lab winning “back” London, lesser Lab winning Wales & SNP Scotland, and smaller a few ukip & con gains & LD losses.

    Dunno though, if Lab are down even excluding Scotland it could come out very differently, and I’m far from certain LDs will actually net lose…

    *Apologies for oversimplifying.

  8. Did I miss something from an earlier post?

    A Welsh National Assembly poll projects a wipeout for the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru closing in on the Conservatives and UKIP support starting to slide while still obtaining six regional seats:

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2016/03/22/national-assembly-voting-intentions-the-latest-evidence/

    In the most recent London poll while Labour win the mayoralty, the Liberal Democrat and Green candidates are tied ahead of UKIP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_mayoral_election%2C_2016#2016

  9. “Those seats were last fought in 2012, when Labour had a lead of 7-10 points in the polls, so a Labour position of roughly neck-and-neck in national polls would probably translate into local election losses.”

    I have emerged from my usual lurking position to make my annual comment, because I’m having some trouble understanding the comparability of polling pre and post the last General Election.

    If I have understood correctly, the consensus is that polling prior to the last General Election significantly overestimated Labour Party support. There have been some methodological changes since the election to try and take into account these problems.

    Does this mean that current polling more accurately reflects Labour Party support than pre-election polling? If so, can we usefully make the comparison between current polling and its likely impact on local election results and 2012 polling and the then local election results? Or should we be assuming that the 2012 7-10 point Labour lead was inflated and adjust accordingly – if so, how?

    [It boils down to the question of when did the polls start being wrong. I addressed it a bit here: http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9648. Essentially we cannot tell for sure, but my guess (and what is probably the most prudent assumption anyway) is that the error developed slowly over the five years, which would mean in 2012 the polls were only a bit wrong, and perhaps Labour’s “real” lead then was 5-8 points, or thereabouts. It is, obviously, impossible to know for sure – AW]

  10. @ Crossbat11

    Corbyn’s satisfaction ratings:

    I just took a look: astonishing given the poor press (even this week) could it be that people actually watched some of his response to the budget and asked what the (loony left) fuss was about?

    @AW & Crossbat11
    I accept what you say, and the actual numbers were

    “Labour won 39% of the national equivalent share of the vote, compared to 33% for the Conservatives and 15% for the Liberal Democrats.” source H of C research paper 12/27.

    So a six percent lead. However I was under the impression that expectations were so low because of the approach taken to Corbyn since his election (Both by the media and by certain parts of the PLP) that any parity of this nature would undermine that narrative.
    Of course it could all be wrong!

  11. Any polls showing a slight Labour lead, or even Corbyn with a satisfaction rating higher than Cameron’s (which I find faintly absurd) should be warmly welcomed by the Tories.

    If there’s any sniff that Labour will start warming to Corbyn because of a few opinion polls, then all the mistakes of the previous five or six years will be repeated. Like the last set of local election results, where Labour did well, everyone extrapolated those results into a vote for Ed Miliband.

    If an opposition party is not commanding a healthy lead in the polls after six years, then there is something seriously wrong.

  12. @WB
    “I just took a look: astonishing given the poor press”
    I’m under the impression the press has already shed its load on “Corbyn bad” and anything more in that vein will have a very diminished effect. My experience in Scotland tells me that there could be a pushback against the negative press. Certainly the SNP’s polling sits apart from what you’d expect if you only read the papers. If Labour can harness the same effect in England then all bets are off for 2020.
    This coming May is all about Labour really. The sight of some green shoots make the next four years very interesting. Their absence will mean a leadership challenge and possible civil war.

  13. “If Labour can harness the same effect in England then all bets are off for 2020.
    This coming May is all about Labour really. The sight of some green shoots make the next four years very interesting.”

    I rest my case.

  14. @WB
    This direction of travel (if accurate) bodes ill for those who are descrying Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and who were relying on dismal results in May to pose a challenge.

    Those of us who desperately want Labour to win but view Corbyn as highly unlikely to deliver victory, are already resigned to the fact that there will be little chance of replacing him before 2020. In all likelihood the elections this year will be mixed bag for Labour – winning the London Mayoral elections, unlear in the locals and Wales and further confirmation (if its really needed) that Scotland is no longer ‘Labour’. This will not be enough to convince the party membership of a need for a change – that is only likely to come after what I see as the virtually inevitable mauling Labour will get at the 2020 election. (I, unsurprising, voted for Kendall but was gutted when Umunna withdrew).

  15. In Wales support for Labour in the polls is 34% compared to 42.3% obtained in 2011 in the constituency vote and 31% in the regional vote as compared to 36.9% in 2011.

    If these polling numbers hold true through to E-Day Labour are going to lose seats and without the Lib Dems in the chamber are going to have to totally rely on Plaid Cymru to govern.

    In London at 42% to 39% of first preferences the Mayoralty situation for Labour is hardly stellar, and if the polling results prove to be accurate again demonstrate that the number of voters choosing a Party other than Labour or Conservative is still close to 1 in 5 voters.

    Compared to the 2015 GE the Liberal Dems would decline further (but be up on 2012) and UKIP would appear to be losing votes back to the Conservatives, while the Greens would be up over 2012 and the 2015 GE.

    So my question remains as to which of UKIP, Liberal Dem and Green are going to be in the London Assembly?

  16. I find Conservatives bizarre. I’d never join another party so I could vote for a candidate no matter how much I’d want them to win. I wouldn’t then suggest that winning a by election they looked to lose is a good thing because that leaders position is secure. I wouldn’t then try and pass off polling that favours them as securing their leader. If Labour did win the general election would Conservatives say that this is a good thing because then the public will see what a Corbyn government is truly like.