Ipsos MORI have released their monthly political monitor. It’s their first poll since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so the changes since last month show the same honeymoon boost we’ve seen in other companies’ figures. Topline figures are CON 45%(+9), LAB 34%(-1), LDEM 7%(-4), UKIP 6%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). The Conservative figure of 45% is the highest MORI have shown since back in 2009 (and note how low UKIP is – MORI tend to show some of the lower figures for UKIP and other recent polls haven’t shown them nearly as low, but it’s hardly positive). Full tabs are here.

Yesterday ICM also put out their latest voting intention polling. Topline figures were CON 40%(-3), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). Still a very robust twelve point Conservative lead, but down from the sixteen point peak in ICM’s last poll. Tabs are here.

348 Responses to “Latest MORI and ICM polling”

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  1. That’s a helluva difference in the estimates of the UKIP vote!

    ICM 14% : MORI 6%.

    Does that suggest that one or more pollstesr still can’t get to grips with polling the English electorate?

  2. CambridgeRachel and Guymonde

    I know of two recent private polling of the selectorate. However, as Roger Mexico rightly pointed it out a week or so ago – the YouGov’s panel was in need of updating.

  3. For England only, the gulf between the two polls is even greater

    ICM 16% : MORI 6%.

  4. ON
    I had the same thought about UKIP VI. Presumably there must be methodological differences to account for the discrepancy. With both UKIP and Labour in turmoil, it’s difficult to make much of the polls. Presumably their tribulations will be sorted one way or another in the next couple of months and polls then might be a better indicator of future VI.

  5. @OldNat

    Based on gut feel, ICM are correct.

    Some Kippers have moved to Tory, but a lot of them are taking a wait and see approach. They hope that Mrs May delivers a good Brexit, but they stand ready to fight if she does not.

    And in the Lab heartlands, I don’t think those who moved to UKIP have gone back at all.

  6. I feel sure that Mori has both the Tories and Labour too high – and UKIP too low. ICM has the Tories on 40% -YouGov gives them 38% – TNS -39%. Mori’s 45% – or 44.6% before rounding – seems out of line.
    Difficult to see Labour on 34% given that no other pollster has them higher than 31%.

  7. Pete B

    “Presumably there must be methodological differences to account for the discrepancy.”

    Alternatively, there is a large section of the English electorate whose VI is very uncertain, and may be swayed one way or another by minor changes in the news.

    Demographics, recalled vote or any other weighting factors that pollsters use may be totally useless in ascertaining the VI of such people.

    I recall times in Scotland when those who were flexible as to voting SLab or SNP could produce similar variations.

    It is, perhaps, impossible for pollsters to measure VI accurately during a period when old party loyalties have been replaced by an (arguably more sophisticated voting choice) among a large group of people.

  8. the best analysis i read to explain a good labour performance in local elections in contrast to bad national polling is that of them having an enthused membership appealing to a very committed core but with no traction with the wider electorate.a high floor but a low ceiling

  9. S Thomas

    “a high floor but a low ceiling”

    Sounds like a school I was advising on altering their accommodation.

    According to the survey firm, that the Government had brought in, one of their science labs was 1 metre high! :-)

  10. S Thomas

    Your point is probably an element of explanation for the outcome The trouble is that there were relatively high turnout wards and Labour still won, and there were wards with low turnout and Labour didn’t win.

  11. Apart from anything else, Brexit should heavily influence the outcome of any poll – registration (mind Liverpool just asked to reconfirm), turnout, engagement.

    However, polls don’t seem to account for any of these, which may appear as volatility in the results.

  12. Just really without any point scoring.

    If you are a candidate, and you know where the hustling is, probably you should be prepared about the particular region, town or city. So, you wouldn’t make an elementary mistake as one of the candidates did this morning about Nothingham’s bus services (yes, one of the subjects of the leadership election …).

  13. Norway’s sovereign fund decreases value of its UK property portfolio “with London accounting for 16% of the said holdings”.


    So – on behalf of the Norwegian fund – I have this city on the Thames for sale at a knock-down price. :-)

  14. I remember having it explained to me, on UKPR, exactly why the Conservatives would never again get 40%.

    It seems like the new norm now.
    I’m strangely feeling a little nervous about it

  15. Colin

    It’s these bloody voters who insist on dismantling elegant academic analyses!

    They should be banned (optional as to whether that should apply to voters or analyses).

  16. Talk of high floors and low ceilings puts me in mind of our canine friends who made a special guest star appearance on UKPR yesterday. I’m sure it was one of their theories in the GE. Not sure how that worked out but to be fair Daisie was oany won at the time.
    She must be nerely free now and have reached dog voting age.

  17. @Colin – that was before Corbyn!

    On these polls;

    The previous IP poll was the one showing a Lab lead which enabled Corbyn to make some ridiculously misleading claims about Labour leading before the coup. The big shift this time does place Cons somewhat higher than many would expect, but not grossly so given other polls, but may suggest that the Labour lead poll was an outlier.

  18. Have to say, I’m really enjoying the Olympics.

    I know @Oldnat is particularly grumpy about all that money being spent on GB medals, but personally, for me it’s just free entertainment.

    I don’t play the lottery!

  19. Colin

    As I pointed out, it is all the fault of the voters.

    It is a completely unscientific thing that people who bother to turn up on Election Day, and put a cross (or any of their preferred mark that represents a distinguishable indication of their preference) on the ballot paper. It is really a nuisance. They don’t even match the basic demographic sampling!

    Now, to regain some lost reputation, the polling companies imitate the behaviour of voters of 2015 with crafty methodological changes – and depending on gut feelings they keep on updating these. Before any accusations, I’m sure the Conservatives are far ahead in the polls.

    The trouble is that the polling companies assumption of the 2020 voters being similar to 2015 voters could be suspect. It is also possible that the methodological changes do not imitate perfectly the 2015 behaviour (I’m sure they tested it, but it could be wrong depending on the underlying assumptions).

    The 35% theory was interesting, but as Labour was far from it, it wasn’t disproven :-).It is their fault really.

  20. To continue (I was a bit fearful of automod).

    There are all kinds of narratives, which are in a way reflected in the polls. So we have Corbyn doesn’t appeal outside the Metropolitean areas, Corbyn doesn appeal in the north, Corbyn doesn’t appeal,in the south.

    I think all these narratives are true to an extent.

    So, I think Labour is taking UKIP votes in places where UKIP is second, behind Labour. I also think that Labour is taking votes from the Greens where there is a sizeable green vote. Some of these could mean some gains of seats,

    I also think that Labour increases its vote share in some LibDem areas, but less so than its competitors.

    One of the thing that is missing in e polls (discarding, not quite rightly, but plausibly the cross breaks) that not only Labour, but also the Conservatives are piling up votes in constituencies that don’t matter).

    Which then leads back to those marginals. If (!) I’m right, Labour could get some of the marginals, but it would lose others, and the numbers are nowhere close to an election victory.

    Even if they can unite the current left vote (a big if) and get a lot of UKIP votes, it would require absence of people at the polling booth who normally vote Conservatives. One can invent scenarios for this, but I leave it there.

    There are the ones who suddenly turned up for the referendum. They are nobody’s voters, strictly speaking. Too many ifs about them: turning up again, voting for a particular party, etc. However, they could be an obstacle to an overall majority (in combination with the earlier) for the Conservatives.

    It is a highly unlikely scenario – especially on the 17th of August 2016.

    The purpose was to describe the complexity that the main opposition party faces, and hence is forced to take on – it has personnel and organisational conditions. Neither of them are in place.

  21. Alec

    I don’t buy lottery tickets either but, disproportionately, the poor do.

    Spending the revenues on supporting elite sports people (the majority of whom come from the social classes able to afford private education for their kids) or “culture” such as opera and ballet, is a political decision.

    Rome did the “bread and circuses” thing very successfully for many years.

    To suggest that modern governments should spend more on bread, and less on circuses isn’t “grumpiness”, any more than suggesting that the ATOS methods of reducing welfare payments are not the hallmark of a civilized society.

    I enjoy watching sport on TV, but I do get confused about quiz shows where someone is supposed to identify obscure characters like “Auntie Deck”, that have no sporting credentials.

  22. Alec
    ‘The previous IP poll was the one showing a Lab lead which enabled Corbyn to make some ridiculously misleading claims about Labour leading before the coup. ‘

    Not quite. The July Mori poll actually did show a 1% Tory lead. The Labour leads were in the YouGov polls for March and April.

  23. @Laszlo

    Thank you for a nuanced analysis.

    IIRC Labour were assumed to have lost 7 seats because of Ukip, in 2015GE, and it was suggested that had Miliband’s LP been offering an EUref, up to a third of Ukip voters would have considered voting Labour.

    I was also wondering about a potential revival in the fortunes of the LDs… particularly in the SW. After all, the Conservatives won a majority in 2015 largely because of the implosion of the LD vote.

    You write: ‘it would require absence of people at the polling booth who normally vote Conservatives.’

    In 2015, the Conservative strategy was a narrow focus on only 80 constituencies, using detailed micro profiling. I don’t know to what extent this strategy was significant (given the uniformity of decline of the LD vote across England and Wales) but it was extremely unpopular with the Conservative association activists and will probably meet greater resistance in implementing in 2020… and that was before the difficulties of bullying, leading to the suicide of a young activist, and the accusations of electoral fraud. If that 40/40 strategy were significant, then it’s absence might indeed lead to fewer people in the polling booth who voted Conservative in 2015.

    I think it might also be relevant that there are many fewer Conservative activists, and they are of a greater average age, than the current LP. I appreciate that face to face canvassing only increases a party’s vote by a few % but, in 2015, Labour lost 13 seats by fewer than 1000 votes. Obviously, by 2020, that would be impacted by an incumbency effect if the redrawing of the Constituency boundaries is abandoned… and if they are redrawn, then clearly Labour stands to lose more MPs than the Conservatives.

    All in all, I agree that on the 17th/18th August 2016, it seems a highly unlikely scenario that the personnel and organisational conditions will be in place… but if they were… oh well, pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the spirit :)

  24. When did the Tories last hit 45%? There are a few 44s in the 2010 -> table, but have they been there since Thatcher, or v. early Major?

  25. OLDNAT

    It wasn’t an ” elegant academic analysis” really-just one of those UKPR contributor bubbles that arise from time to time despite the teachings of our Host.

    Yes-it is good when they are burst by The Voters.


  26. LASZLO

    @”The trouble is that the polling companies assumption of the 2020 voters being similar to 2015 voters could be suspect.”

    I wasn’t aware of a Poll predicting the GE result in 2020.-could you provide a link please.

    OPs usually ask respondents how they would vote in a GE “Tommorrow”.

    With regard to Labour prospects at the next GE, I understood the strategy of the Corbyn Project to be quite simple:-

    Don’t bother with Tory Voters-appeal to current DNVs because they have just been waiting for a Bennite revival to vote for.

    Not sure what the evidence is on progress for this idea.

  27. OLDNAT

    Could you provide evidence for your statement that “the majority of ” UK elite sportsmen & women “come from the social classes able to afford private education for their kids”.

    My impression from watching ( a lot) on tv is that this aspect is a mixed bag-and depends on the sport.

    My impression is that-for example-Rowing & Sailing Olympians tend to meet your criteria. Equestrian too.

    But Boxing, Judo, Athletics , Gymnastics, Swimming etc are far more represented by working class young people. Indeed I have the impression that some of the young Olympians in those sports are definitely experiencing upward social mobility because of their sporting talent.

    I admit that my “evidence” is sparse-merely the impressions gained from tv interviews before & after Rio Games events.

    It is an interesting subject & worthy of some detailed study I think-particularly on the Social Mobility effects which , I think are a reasonable counter to the criticisms of funding for Elite Sportspeople.. I wonder if one of the key Social dividers is the need -or not-to buy expensive equipment in order to participate ( Sailing vs Athletics or Swimming for example). I wondered too if a University base for some sports might be a factor ( Rowing ?)
    Conversely-is my impression that Equestrian athletes are drawn from the Rural Middle Classes an unfair one.?

    So if you do have evidence for your statement I would be very interested to read it.

  28. @William “The July Mori poll actually did show a 1% Tory lead.”
    How did it manage that with an MoE of 2-3%?
    People do like precision, even when it’s unobtainable, but especially when the result is close. Pundits apply MoE freely to the width of gaps of 5 to 10%, but declare a win on a 1%difference.

  29. @OldNat

    “Sounds like a school I was advising on altering their accommodation. According to the survey firm, that the Government had brought in, one of their science labs was 1 metre high!”

    Resulting in children with low expectations? ;-)

  30. OLDNAT

    Wel well l-I open my Times this morning & find the Chief Sports Writer has done some work on this :-

    According to UK Sport , of the 1300 athletes funded by them , “more than 70%” attended “only State School” and 14% ” only Independent school”

    The Times calculates that ” half ” of British Gold Medalists at Beijing 2008 were privately educated. It was 36% for London 2012.

    For Rio The Times calculates the education og GB medalists ( not clear at what point in time) as follows :-
    Non-UK educated-3%
    Unknown-presumably the balance.

    7% of UK children as a whole are Privately Educated.

  31. Maxim Parr-Reid
    ‘45% for the Tories??

    That’d be the highest Tory vote share since 1970…’

    The tables reveal the actual figure to have been 44.6% – so it has been rounded up to 45%. Labour was 34.1% rounded down to 34% leaving an actual Tory lead of 10.5%.
    It seems from looking at the other pollsters that Mori has pitched both Con/Lab several points too high – though the % lead might be credible.
    The headline figures are based on a sample size of 657 . I am not sure what MOE that delivers.

  32. Is the ‘honeymoon’ bounce over yet? It does seem to be dragging on a little.

  33. Colin

    This is from Ipsos Mori:

    “As an interim measure, and to preserve our long-term trends on voting intentions, our headline indicator is now changed to take into account past voting behaviour.”

  34. Colin

    Even more precisely:

    “this measure is not based on the assumption that this is the group who will vote at the next general election, as this population is not accurately identifiable at this stage of a parliament. Rather, it includes only those voters whose past behaviour and frame of mind is nearest to those who actually vote at elections.”

    I think, I was quite accurate in my claim.


    Oddly the MoE is 4%, not the more common 3%

  35. LASZLO

    I was responding to your statement :-

    “”The trouble is that the polling companies assumption of the 2020 voters being similar to 2015 voters could be suspect.””

    …and asking where you had seen an OP which asked how people will vote in 2020.

    They always ask how will you vote “tommorrow” -don’t they?

  36. Syzygy

    Yes, LibDems are a big unknown. With Corbyn’s surviving as leader it “should” give them more room. Yes, they are quite low in the polls, which is another puzzle.

    Unless Brexit goes completely off the track, UKIP “shouldn’t” be such a big consideration in 2020 as they were in 2015.

  37. Colin

    Sorry, I misunderstood your question. I though you meant my point about modelling the 2015 behaviour to adjust their methodology and get to the headline figure.

    Yes, they all ask “tomorrow”, but then they would have to continue with their incremental adjustments until 2020. It may well be an appropriate measure, but it could be problematic (obviously there will not be an election before the next, apart from local ones and the EU (?) one, so there is a good chance that the 2015 behaviour will be dominant in their methodology even in 2020).

  38. @Oldnat –

    “I don’t buy lottery tickets either but, disproportionately, the poor do.

    Spending the revenues on supporting elite sports people (the majority of whom come from the social classes able to afford private education for their kids) or “culture” such as opera and ballet, is a political decision.

    Rome did the “bread and circuses” thing very successfully for many years.”

    You can be very supercilious and dull at times. You can also be wildly wrong, as here.

    One of the great – and I mean really great – achievements of lottery funding for sport is that, just like the professionalisation of cricket and rugby, it has opened the door to far wider participation at elite levels for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, based on talent and aptitude. It liberates people from less privileged backgrounds to participate at the very top. It does this by identifying those with the potential to be the best, regardless of their backgrounds.

    This is, in many ways, why GB is performing so well in the medals tables, precisely because our elite athletes are drawn from a far wider pool, rather then from the very restrictive ranks of the public schools.

    The GB rowing team, for example, is a great example of the widening access to elite sports the lottery has brought. The programme head is a former comprehensive history teacher who ran a school rowing club in his spare time and just happened to be a brilliant coach, now fully funded and leading GB rowing to it’s world beating heights.

    You could also have a look at Mohamed Sbihi, the first practising Muslim to row for Britain. He is a key member of the mens coxed eight who have just won gold. He is the son of a Morrocan immigrant who runs a newsagent. He was spotted at 15 at his comprehensive school by a lottery funded talent scouting program, and after a two day testing schedule was invited to join the national junior rowing system.

    Then you appear to be entirely oblivious to the growth of the UK paralympic infrastructure. I do hope you’re not claiming that all our paralympians are selected because they went to posh schools?

    Bradley Wiggins (comprehensive school, Kilburn), Laura Trott (state secondary school, Hertfordshire) Jason Kenny (state RC secondary school, Farnsworth, Manchester) – endless reams of medals from people from very ordinary backgrounds that simply wouldn’t have stood a chance without lottery funding.

    If the poor play the lottery disproporionately, that is their choice (‘choice’ is the operative word here). Without the lottery, ordinary people would be far less likely to break into the elite sport ranks, and the impact of lottery money is the precise opposite of what you imply.

    You never know – perhaps ‘poor people’ play the lottery precisely because they think it might help others like them achieve? Or maybe they play it becasue they are not so blinded by miserable and ill informed prejudice?

  39. Many poor people play out of hope and desperation spurred on by powerful advertising.

    The lottery is a cynical and wastefull way of raising money.

    It is gambling and a racket.

  40. On the socio-demographics of lottery players:


    There should be a more recent one (this is 2010), but it is probably not public (yet).

  41. Thanks Laszlo, will look after dog drag.

  42. @Mark W – “The lottery is a cynical and wastefull way of raising money.”

    That is a point of view, but I’m interested as to why you say this?

    As someone who works predominately in the charitable sector, I can attest to the real value on the ground of lottery funding across a very wide spectrum of social sectors.

    I would accept that the entire concept of charity can, in certain circumstances, be used by governments as a means to offload their responsibilities in an attempt to revert to a low tax and spend system where public goods are provided by voluntary subscription and altruistic donation, as opposed to state run taxation and provision for all, but I don’t personally see the lottery fits into this category.

    It was always designed to be additional, and for much of it’s life to date, the lottery has existed in the context of higher state spending, so I don’t think we could critique the lottery on these terms.

    My sense of this is that the criticisms of the lottery are mainly from social classes who don’t tend to play it but who similarly don’t live in the kinds of circumstances where they can see the benefits of lottery largesse.

    Many of the groups and good causes I work with would fold without some lottery support, and the growth of the third sector, which has delivered some exceptionally valuable outcomes in the last two decades, would be severely hampered if the lottery did not exist, in my view.

  43. re. Lib Dem performance

    To make any headway in national polls the Lib Dems need the oxygen of publicity that they have not had since May 2015. Mostly the good fortune of a winnable Westminster by-election, of which there are not so many these days. However based on the 2016 local elections, the prediction is that they would be on 11% in a General Election compared with the 8% in 2015.

    Results in local by-elections and in the two Holyrood seats they gained in 2016 (Edinburgh West and NE Fife, both approximating to seats lost at Westminster in 2015), suggest the electorate are once again prepared to give the Lib Dems the benefit of the doubt in terms of tactical voting in places where they have some credibility and have put in some work. I think if there were a by-election in one of the seats lost in 2015 (and a handful of others where they are still second) they would stand a good chance of winning.

  44. @Mark W

    Re: Lottery… it isn’t necessarily irrational to play the lottery. It’s all about “expected value”. The balance between the odds of winning, and the prize if you win. Some weeks, eg rollover weeks, the expected value can increase…

  45. Or to give a simple example, if the odds of winning are 13 million-to-one, and the prize is fourteen million quids, then it makes sense to place your one quid stake…

  46. Well Ok, maybe the cost of a ticket is more these days, but you catch my drift. Also, if you happen to need that quid for summat really vital, like storage, say, obviously that complicated things…

  47. @MARK W
    The lottery is a cynical and wasteful way of raising money.

    It is gambling and a racket.
    Most countries around the world run lotteries, and it can hardly be described as ‘wasteful’ when 59% of the UK population buy tickets, with a significant proportion of the funds going to develop excellence in Olympic and other sports, and other worthy causes.

    Yes it is a form of gambling, but most people only spend a small weekly amount which they can afford to lose. You might say it’s a ‘racket’ because only around 50% of sales are returned as prizes, compared with say 85% of stakes from betting on horses, or 72% from fruit machines, but people generally know that when they buy their tickets.

  48. The BBC “Projected National share” also has the Lib Dems up by 4% from 2015 to 2016

    The actual % is not reliable, but the change is, and is the first increase since 2010. If there was a general election this year on current boundaries, the Lib Dems would probably gain 5 to 10 seats from the Tories and SNP. But the boundary changes could make things difficult and unpredictable in 2020, with seats like Sheffield Hallam and Leeds NW likely to be broken up.

    For some reason I can’t find the usual Rallings and Thrasher data for 2016

  49. This idea that summat like funding elite sport is just “circuses” is hilarious. For a start, there are the health benefits of encouraging wider participation. Secondly, there are all the developments in nutrition and sporting science that can benefit others. Then it’s a case of employing people at what they do best. Like, if they’re a world-class athlete, maybe support them in that rather than making them be a milkman or summat. Ditto sports scientists. Then as Catman pointed out, there’s what can be learned about optimising performance. Then, you know, it’s just inspiring and interesting in a way that watching some narcissist jealous that others are getting lots of attention prolly isn’t.

  50. Good morning all from a lovely warm central London. Was over in Amsterdam for a couple of days (work related of course) and although anecdotal I never heard Brexit being mentioned once. Seems the Dutch have gotten over our vote to bolt.

    Onto the polls…..I don’t think we can read too much into the Labour VI until after the party splits. When ol Corby wins as expected it will be interesting to see how his bit of the party holds up.

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