Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has a much closer race than ICM’s last poll. Topline figures are CON 36%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 8%, GRN 4% (full tabs are here.)

The poll was conducted over the weekend before Theresa May became Prime Minister, though did include a question on whether people thought she had what it took to be a good Prime Minister (55% of people though she did, 27% did not).

Given it is being rampantly misrepresented on social media, I should also explain about MORI’s turnout filter and how they present their figures (and why, therefore, some people are tweeting entirely different MORI figures!). These days the overwhelming majority of opinion polls contain some sort of adjustment for how likely people are to vote. The general pattern is that older people and middle class people are more likely to vote than younger people and working class people; older people and middle class people are also more likely to vote Conservative, younger people and working class people more likely to vote Labour. This means if a poll just included everyone, with no reference to how likely or unlikely they actually are to vote, then it would overstate Labour when compared to actual election results.

Polling companies account for this by weighting by likelihood to vote (the more likely you are to vote, the more your answer is counted) or filtering by likelihood to vote (only taking people who say they are likely to vote), based either on how likely people say they are to vote, or on demographic modelling. In the case of MORI, their topline figures are based only on people who say they are at least 9/10 likely to vote AND that they always, usually or have sometimes voted in the past. This makes a substantial difference to their topline figures – without this adjustment they would have been showing a five point Labour lead.

MORI’s headline figure is the one that is adjusted for turnout – the one point Conservative lead – which they regard as a better indicator of actual voting intention. However, because MORI’s political monitor has been going since the 1970s they still publish the figures without the turnout adjustment to preserve the data trend, even if they don’t feel it paints an accurate picture in an era of lower turnouts.

In short, if you are looking at Ipsos MORI figures with a view to seeing how well the parties might do in a general election tomorrow, you need to look at the figures that account for how likely people actually are to vote, not take false solace from figures that don’t take turnout into account.

842 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 36, LAB 35, LD 11, UKIP 8”

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  1. any polling on how many are taken in by the turnout thing?…

  2. Jez we can


  3. @Neil A

    Forgive me, but I’m just having a bit of fun with your rather extraordinary post from the previous thread. You listed a series of “sneering and dismissive remarks from anti-Tories on this site”, since the first day you looked at it. Let’s have a look at these dismissive sneers: –

    “Brown would win in 2010.”

    Many hoped that would be the case but did anybody seriously argue that he would? Really?

    “Cameron was all talk no trousers”

    A view reflected by many commentators now writing his political obituary. Pro-Tory ones too.

    “Labour would form a rainbow coalition”

    They tried, rather forlornly, but failed.

    “The Tory-LibDem coalition would collapse in 10 minutes.”

    Who, where, when?

    “Miliband would turn out to be electoral gold-dust.”

    Who, where, when?.

    “Osborne would never reduce the deficit.”

    He didn’t.

    “The Tories could never win in 2015.”

    That’s what the polls were consistently telling us and, after all, this is a site dedicated to the discussion of opinion polls.

    “The Tories wouldn’t be able to function with such a small majority”

    Well, they’re in office, but how well are they functioning? Some would argue not well without having to sneer.

    “The referendum was just an electoral ploy and would never happen. ”

    Probably Cameron’s hope too.

    “There was no point in the referendum as Leave didn’t stand a chance.”

    Opinion polls were telling us Leave had every chance. Who was sneering otherwise?

    I really do hope you present evidence rather better in your day job.
    A case of a cavalry of straw men riding again and mistaking views you don’t agree with as sneers.

  4. Question for our host: is it all likely that the same turnout factors won’t apply in the same way, when it comes to voting for a Corbyn-led Labour Party? The logic is that (a) Corbyn has a very different appeal from Miliband, let alone Brown, and hence may be appealing to a different & less ‘compressible’ 38% of the vote; and that (b) anyone *still* saying they’ll vote Labour after the last few weeks has got to be pretty hard core. Does this make psephological sense?

  5. The way I look at it, opinion polling is a deeply flawed science. In particular, insufficient attention is given to the very old (75+), who form an increasingly large part of the electorate. Samples of around 1,000-1,500 people are also not big enough to give an accurate picture – a minimum 10,000 sample should be used.

  6. UKIP with only 8%? Yea, dream on. For the record, I don’t support UKIP, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that this result is a massive outlier.

  7. May has sacked Gove.

  8. Having had a glance through the David Davis plan for Brexit, perhaps Theresa May will go for some sort of hard Brexit after all.

    I have to say that the negotiating strategy has some similarities to the Yanis Varoufakis plan. That did not end well.

    Even if the David Davis plan worked, I can’t see how it would bear fruit until well after the 2020 election.

    It is still possible that Theresa May is expecting that plan to fall in a heap and we end up with Brexit-lite, but I am not sure the human shield would be enough to protect her.

    Labour might have a good chance in 2020 if they get their act together.

  9. CROSSBAT!!!

    “Well, they’re in office, but how well are they functioning? Some would argue not well without having to sneer”.

    As in the majority on this site. It is because, if the Conservative Party offered and attained Nirvana in Britain, the Labour supporter’s like yourself would always refuse to accept it. Neil A is right on the money regarding you.

  10. Two elephants in the room so far as turnout modelling is concerned.

    + The significantly higher turnout for the referendum: are these newly registered voters in the main, and what proportion of them will continue to vote in future elections?

    + The demographics of the referendum electorate: there doesn’t seem to be agreement on this, the LSE appear quite confident in their assertion that the young came out in much higher numbers than previously (and identified by alternative pollsters), others also note a C2DE ‘surge’. If either or both of these are the case, will this be replicated in future votes and how does that impact on VI?

    Honestly, I think polling – with its heavy reliance on historically configured filters – is little more than well intentioned guess work at the moment.

    Until it is clear whether Europe is to become a politically defining issue across the UK – as independence has in Scotland – and what the various parties’ attitudes towards that issue are then all is to play for amongst the electorate.

    Until we have a greater understanding of who this enlarged electorate are and whether they are here to stay, then polling, with its huge reliance on filters may be adjusting to provide a picture of the opinion of an historic electorate rather than the current voter cohort.

    In times of tumult, the past is not always a reliable guide to future behaviour. Pollsters beware.


    Labour might have a good chance in 2020 if they get their act together.

    I agree, Labour might have a good chance of winning a heavily Muslim ward in Tower Hamlets in 2020. That is about all. Dream on and read Crossbat above. A good summary of silly comments and broken dreams.

  12. Well on the back of what is happening within Labour this is an extraordinary good poll for them or should I say for ol Corby. Okay so the poll hasn’t taken in any T.May bounce and we still have to see what her final cabinet shuffle will look and only then we should have a better picture on what the public make of it all.

    CARFREW & RAF..ftpt

    Yes Winchester to Waterloo is served by South West trains on the Southampton line. East Hampshire is served by Southern trains and due to all the shenanigans within that train company many of their passengers in east Hampshire are now shuffling over to the west of the country to use the Winchester to Waterloo service.

    It’s a pain in the arse because competition for a seat now is the main event of my day but on a serious note I do feel sorry for passengers who are having to dump Southern for South West and have already forked out hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a season ticket.

    I’ve heard on the news over the past week some passengers have lost their jobs because of what’s happening with Southern trains and unable to get into work on time. Disputes, strikes, sickness…whatever the reasons I do hope they get it sorted out pronto!

  13. Southern were already pretty dismal even before the current GTR management contract.

  14. @Hawthorn

    I think May is hugely overrated as a politician. I find her dull and mediocre – several leagues below Cameron.
    I feel that the whole Brexit thing will develop into a gigantic mess with no agreement. Merkel does not decide everything in the EU and she will face severe opposition from other EU leaders. Give it one year and David Davies will resign in a huff, slamming his door behind him.

  15. @Roland Haines

    Given that Labour still commands around 1/3 of the vote in opinion polls what you say is utter rubbish. I’m not a Labour suppporter, but clearly the only route to power for them is for a progressive alliance to be formed on the centre-left, including Lib-Dems, Greens, SNP and Plaid.

  16. Morning of the Long Knives: Gove, Morgan and Whiitingdale sacked so far and possibly Letwin as well.


    On the soft side of things, I think voters might end up getting annoyed with her quite soon.

    I don’t think Northerners will like her style for sure. Far too Southern and la-di-da despite not being Old Etonian.

    Any party that has to scrabble about forming “rainbow coalitions” is not looking very much like a GE winner. My reaction to the usual silly over confidence of Labour supporters is due to a patience worn very thin with age. I have heard it all before. Further, I do not think the current ludicrous situation, will be easily forgotten by the voting public. As I repeatedly say, they cannot contemplate success by relying on the kind of individual who thinks Corbyn is good news.
    As for Angie the Eagle, I mean really, what is she going to do? Probably not much better.

  19. @ Hireton

    “Morning of the Long Knives: Gove, Morgan and Whiitingdale sacked so far and possibly Letwin as well.”

    Having cleared the decks, the real interest lies in who she brings in.

    To remove Gove to bring in IDS would hardly signal a shift, but to make way for Margot James would be a different matter.

    What of Hunt I wonder. Hardly a poster boy for One Nation Conservatism.

    Also, didn’t he say that the DoH role would be ‘his last big job in politics’ – perhaps time to make him true to his words.

  20. Latest rumour is the demise of Sajid Javid.

    She is certainly clearing out the deadwood.

    The question is whether there is enough depth of talent to replace them. Does she want patsies in every Department (and turn into Gordon Brown MkII).

    Which voters? The ones who want a PM to look like a polytechnic lecturer or a till worker in Tesco.

  22. ROLY

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with her style. I am just judging what other people might think.

    You might like trying that thought experiment some time.

  23. Hunt gone as well.

  24. @ Hireton

    “Hunt gone as well.”

    It seemed logical.

  25. Note that the Brexiteer appointments were made on the 13th [pity it wasn’t a Friday], whilst the long knives come out on Bastille Day in what could be a hint to France of things to come.

  26. Roland

    Whats wrong with a PM looking like a till worker in tesco?

  27. Even though i am left of centre, i am encouraged by the ministerial changes being made by May. The level of party support will of course be mostly affected by government policies and not who the ministers are.

    Philip Hammond has indicated that he wants to see a shift away from Cameron/Osborne austerity politics. Education policy may shift from academies/free schools back to a level of local accountability and Grammar schools where these are wanted.

    Jeremy Hunt going may see a defrosting of relations between NHS staff and government. This can only be a good thing, given that many NHS Trusts have debts running into many millions.

  28. As OLDNAT has pointed out on many previous threads, the inclusion of Scotland in GB polls weighted by GB demographics guarantees distortion of the E&W figures as well.

    Ipsos MORI are worse than most in that they regard Scotland as part of the North of England and Wales as a part of the Midlands. For Scotland, they do show a cross break [105 participants weighted down to 89] but for Wales there is no information at all. See p2 of the detailed tables.

    If, as seems likely, A50 is ever going to be triggered then, the probability of Scottish indyref2 increases. Unless the pollsters start recognising that there are three polities in GB then the headline figures are likely to diverge from reality.

    Of course, should indyref2 succeed in gaining a Yes vote, they will have to do that anyway, but starting to do it now would improve the accuracy of E&W predictions which might help in predicting GE2020.

  29. @assiduosity

    Hunt being moved it seems not sacked.

    Well its something you either have a view about or you don’t. It is my personal opinion that the majority of adults in this country still want their nations leaders to look like professional people dressed accordingly. Of course the “new wave” Labour supporter may have a different view, but those who will make or break a leader and his/her party, do not want a school dinner lady lookalike running Britain.

  31. What about Eric Pickles? anything on Pickles? Pickles not been appointed something by Auntie May yet?

  32. @Roland Haines

    I agree that the choice of Corbyn and Eagle is dire, but maybe Owen Smith can inject something new.

  33. @cambridgerachel

    Are you serious? We are not Cuba under Castro.

  34. @Hawthorn
    “Labour might have a good chance in 2020 if they get their act together.” for I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

  35. TANCRED @cambridgerachel
    We are not Cuba under Castro.

    To be fair, I’ve never seen a till worker in Tesco dressed like Fidel.

  36. It seems that the Conservatives are still ahead about 3%. I find myself dubious that replacing Corbyn will change that.

    Changing a government in the last few decades seems to require a recession to help the opposition into power: we might get one with all this Brexit mullarky, but leadership and “time for a change” is also necessary. I don’t think we’re at the latter just yet.

  37. Roly,
    Being the same side of 60 as you, I do worry about your blood pressure.
    And Neil A on the previous thread seems very angry.
    What is it with you Brexiteers. It must feel like all your Xmases have come at once. :-)

  38. Villiers going is a bit surprising. Perhaps May is concerned that she was too cosy with the DUP. I’d love to know what the alternative job that Villiers refused was.

  39. “These promises are fair, the parties sure, And our induction full of prosperous hope.”
    We shall see. I suspect we have organised steel in charge, instead of clever ‘winging it’.

  40. Re politics – Hunt stays per BBC, reports of his demise were premature

    Re polling – this is the first poll since July 2015 to show Lib Dems ahead of UKIP or in double figures; and the bets opinion poll for Lib Dem sin all resects apart form a solitary 12% in one poll during the election campaign last year.

    I get that Ipsos MORI favours Lib Dems and pushes down UKIP, but looking a movement it gives LDs up 3 and UKIP down 2,. both of which are interesting if repeated…

  41. @ Hawthorn
    “Having had a glance through the David Davis plan for Brexit, perhaps Theresa May will go for some sort of hard Brexit after all.”

    Having had a look at what Davis has written on Brexit at Conservative Home etc and lectures he has given at the ICE and other places, his position is best summarised as the usual hard Brexit motherhood and apple pie ‘it’ll all be alright on the night’ stuff.

    A few points:

    He believes it will be possible to negotiate trade deals with external partners such as the USA at the same time as Brexit. This is contrary to the position of the US administration – that negotiations can open after the conclusion of TPP and TTIP – as outlined from the President to the lead trade representative to Secretary Clinton (please don’t anyone quote Paul Ryan to me – Senate and House Republicans have no mandate to negotiate only confirm such matters).

    Davis is also very light on services – on Conservative Home, he mentions them only once, in passing – proceeding to the usual tropes of German cars, French wine and Italian shoes. He doesn’t seem to have a plan on how financial services can be protected outside the single market, not really expressing an understanding of the importance of passporting. Everyone seems silent on science, technology and communication services where the UK is also strong.

    And outside the single market is where he believes the UK should be. In a couple of throwaway paragraphs in the Conservative Home article he reveals this. They conclude with ‘we can significantly improve our growth rate by stopping the flood of unnecessary market and product regulation. [from the EU]’.

    Outside of the regulatory framework means outside of the single market, quite apart from whatever view is taken on freedom of movement.

    He waxes lyrical, as so many do, about zero tariffs, seemingly unaware that today’s barriers to trade are not tariff based. On the official EU and US web pages explaining the background to trade negotiations you find the following unequivocal statement:

    “Given the low average tariffs (under 3%), the key to unlocking this potential [for free trade] lies in the tackling of non-tariff barriers. These consist mainly of customs procedures and behind the border regulatory restrictions.

    The non-tariff barriers come from diverging regulatory systems (standards definitions notably), but also other non-tariff measures, such as those related to certain aspects of security or consumer protection.”

    Davis would move us away from regulatory convergence, in the opposite direction from free trade. How would he square this with stated US goals in pressing for a deal with them?

    Then there’s the timescale he has set himself – 12-24 months for our trade deals with the rest of the world to be concluded (he has priorities within this). The same for the EU exit deal following the triggering of Article 50. Where does he imagine the capacity both domestically and internationally exists for such an undertaking?

    There are some on here – @TOH springs to mind – who admirably set out a course for Brexit that involves restructuring our economy, redirecting to international markets and ‘earning our way in the world’. They recognise, it seems to me, that this is a challenging exercise and likely not without short term discomfort. There is too the possibility of failure, but that is true of any course of action, and worth it for the benefit of sovereignty – that is their position.

    If we are to attempt Brexit, please, could we have such realists in place rather than these, rose-tinted individuals who expect everyone to ‘play nice’ and accord the UK ‘special favours’.

  42. I’m in agreement with laszlo there can be no quarter given by either side. To my eyes the only solution to the movements current predicament will be a formal split as there has simply been too much bad blood and spleen vented to back down and there is clearly a chasm of opinion as to the desired route for the attainment of power and on the literal interpretation of the rules that underpin the very framework of the parties mechanism. Whoever triumphs from this interscene strife will feel compelled to purge which surely will inevitably set in motion the above chain of events.

  43. @ BFR

    “Re polling – this is the first poll since July 2015 to show Lib Dems ahead of UKIP or in double figures; and the bets opinion poll for Lib Dem sin all resects apart form a solitary 12% in one poll during the election campaign last year.”

    I’d noted that too.

    As the sole repositories of Europhile votes at present, I would imagine that the Lib Dems would be hoping for some resurgence from the 48% remain constituency.

    May will be hoping that UKIP suffer from the appointment of such high profile Brexiteers to senior positions.

    One small aside on the Labour campaign – both Owen Smith and Angela Eagle have positioned themselves as favouring a second referendum or GE ahead of a final Brexit decision.

    If Europe is to be the defining issue of this parliament, it would be sensible for the major parties to have at least slightly divergent positions.

    Being more pro-European may be a way for these candidates to drive a wedge between Corbyn and his younger and wavering supporters. His perceived closet Brexiteer status could be his undoing amongst what was once called ‘the selectorate’.

  44. @Assiduosity

    It seems pretty clear that TM is setting up the Brexiters for a fall. Hardline Brexit is not remotely possible, and the only way to demonstrate this to the voting public is to have unambiguous Brexiters in charge of the negotiations, so that there is no way for people to cry foul when they fail to achieve what people want.

    That then sets the scene for another referendum on the results of the deal, i.e on the basis of reality rather than fiction.

  45. ASSIDUOSITY @ Hawthorn

    Excellent post.

    Also perhaps worth noting that the BBC article I link to above includes:
    The chancellor also dismissed the idea that Scotland would have a separate relationship with the European Single Market. He added: “We want to have access to the single market.

    Given that both individuals were chosen last night by the new PM, we are only able to guess which one of them comes closer to May’s views. Mine would be her new next door neighbour.

  46. In a morning of such long knives, living Hunt in place seems, to say the least, a strange decision.

    As – the departing – Nicky Morgan proved when she took over education from the loathed (by teachers) Gove, a change in personnel can sometimes pour oil on troubled waters.


    That is sort of what I meant by the Yanis Varoufakis parallel (although Varoufakis’s actual proposals were economically sensible).

    It rests on an assumption that the other players will be behaving in accordance with economic rationality, that being abrasive will help in negotiations and that a weak hand can be magically boosted by bluffing with Jedi mind tricks.

    Varoufakis ultimately failed by having the trump card of default overruled by Tsipras (as I understand). Davis’s equivalent is leaving the single market.

  48. Not all regulations come from the EU anyway. Some are set by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

  49. @Assiduosity
    “both Owen Smith and Angela Eagle have positioned themselves as favouring a second referendum or GE ahead of a final Brexit decision. ”
    No chance of the first. To get a GE would need a vote of no confidence; a vote by more than 434 MPs, or repeal or amendment to the single parliament act. All May has to do to avoid those is nothing, and she’s good at that.

    “If Europe is to be the defining issue of this parliament, it would be sensible for the major parties to have at least slightly divergent positions. ”
    What else is likely to be “the defining issue of this parliament”? I trust ‘slightly’ is the operative word. Once we begin negotiations for a workable Brexit we can do without calls for us to be ‘IN’. If Article 50 is the first step, we are not negotiating a ‘deal’ which allows for us staying in. We are negotiating how we leave.

    “TM is setting up the Brexiters for a fall.”
    TM is setting everyone up for a fall, so that she will not fall whatever happens.
    “Hardline Brexit is not remotely possible,” Oh, but it is. All it needs is evoke Article 50 and say nothing for 2 years or until the EU offers most of it. May is good at that.
    But the question is not whether hard line Brexit is possible: it is whether it is achievable and worthwhile in the long term. That is unlikely to be answered before we are out and a 2nd Referendum or a GE are academic.

  50. Hardline Brexit is possible, although it would be political suicide for Theresa May and the Tory Party.

    It is something I would expect from a Jeremy Corbyn government (if he could have only hard-left MPs).

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