Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out in today’s Evening Standard. Topline voting intention figures with changes from last month are CON 40%(-2), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 14%(+4), UKIP 9%(+2), GRN 3%(nc). The 14 point score for the Liberal Democrats is the highest MORI have recorded for five years.

So far we have had three polls since the Richmond Park by-election and while ICM and YouGov did not have the Lib Dems doing as quite well as MORI, all three have shown them improving, suggesting they have received a boost from their by-election victory and the publicity it gave them. Whether that leads to any lasting recovery, or fades away again once the by-election is forgotten, is a different question.


355 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 29, LDEM 14, UKIP 9, GRN 3”

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  1. Dreadful for Labour, considering they were on 33 in the last poll. They are now sub 30 in every polling companies records.

  2. Further grim evidence for Labour of a slide in the polls, although to be fair, Mori did have them on 29% in October, but 34% in September, so there is a fair bit of bouncing around here. Either way, it isn’t great for Labour.

    This has obviously led to speculation about the mind of Corbyn. Will he or won’t he fall on his sword? I’m tempted to swing behind the ‘bitter enders’. I can’t quite see Corbyn voluntarily leaving quickly, given that he wanted to face down most of his parliamentary colleagues, and many former friends, just a few months ago. It’s no more clear now than it was then that he is out f his depth and leading Labour to a crushing defeat, so why would he change his view now. His mentality completely insulates him from a rational acceptance of the wider world, so I don’t think he can make the necessary judgements about what is best for his party.

    I suspect it will be for his remaining loyalists to make that decision for him, but even here, he saw many former loyalists state clearly how much he had betrayed Labour’s best interests in September, and he didn’t budge, so would a few more former supporters make that much difference.

    Perhaps the battle underway in Momentum and the Unite elections may be the kind of external spurs that move him towards the exit, but in truth, Corbyn doesn’t run to normal rules of politics, which is both his strength and his weakness.

  3. @Alec “His mentality completely insulates him from a rational acceptance of the wider world, so I don’t think he can make the necessary judgements about what is best for his party.”

    Agree completely. When you hear from him and then look at his appointments that can be the only conclusion.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/14/jeremy-corbyn-blames-leadership-contest-for-low-poll-ratings

    Latest appointment is a former Sinn Fein worker. Talk about being blind to broader perceptions

  4. Even Livingstone suggested Corbyn has a year , after which “people will worry” if the Polls haven’t turned for Labour.

    However, this begs so many questions :-

    Which “people” does KL mean?
    Does “worrying” lead to action-if so what action?
    Will the Corbyn project ever acknowledge that HE is the Polling problem for Labour?
    Has the PLP any energy left for a new challenge?
    Will the CURRENT Membership ever acknowledge that Bennite policies in 2017 aren’t what the Voters want?
    Who will be running UNITE & what will their attitude to JC be?

    ……………etc etc

  5. The polls remind me of the 1980s…….Labour in the high 20s, Liberals high teens and the Tories high 30s/low 40s – and winning the GEs when they come along.
    Until the centre left sorts itself out, the Tories are unassailable.
    It’s a win/win for the PM – fragmented opposition, and even if the Brexit negotiations go pear shaped, she just has to blame them across the channel, wrap herself in the union jack, and the 40% will stay onside.
    Never underestimate the power of the “very well, alone!” cry – a good chunk of this island people will flock to it.

  6. I wonder whether Labout might increase their vote, with a Blairite leader and a party policy of being pro EU, looking to negotiate staying in the EU under an amended treaty.

    The country is pretty much split 50/50 on Brexlt and those who supported remain will be a bit confused with Labour MP’s saying the UK will be leaving the EU, without saying much else.

    It is possible that the country will change its mind on Brexit and sometimes a political party needs to have a policy that is against the current mood of the country. The Lib Dems may pick up in the polls, because of their pro EU stance and win many council or parliamentary seat elections held before the next general election.

  7. R Huckle

    The LDs got there first. Changing horses in mid stream won’t do Labour much good imo-it might make the LD stance look even more principled to Left Remainers.

    Jasper22
    @”Never underestimate the power of the “very well, alone!” cry ”

    And particularly just now. When KL made that remark about JC having a year, he fell back on ” Its the Economy stupid” as being the key factor for JC’s future-ie that UK economy will tank-for whatever reason.
    KL seemed to have forgotten Labour’s dire ratings on economic competence -and their 9% approval for “who is best to manage Brexit”.

    The Far Left remind me of a hapless father on bonfire night , stood in the rain waiting for that firework from last year to ignite in spectacular fashion……….whilst his sombre family peer through the rain soaked window, knowing that it won’t , and that it never does .

  8. At least Labour sent a Christmas card :-)

    I don’t think Labour can do anything about the polling really (for internal and external reasons). Corbyn is neither here nor there about it.

    Furthermore, there is no reason to change internally as long as the external contexts remain the same, and if the external contexts change, there is no need to change internally. Really bad …

  9. A pretty poor poll for Labour, but it would imply a Tory majority of only 34 – with 15 gains from Labour being partially offset by 4 losses to the LibDems. No Tory landslide based on these figures!

  10. @GRAHAM “No Tory landslide based on these figures!”

    Remember the polls before the 2015 GE understated the shy Tory vote. Couple that wth the absolute shellacking old Corby would receive from the Tory HQ election machine and you’d have to have rose tinted glasses on to believe we are not in Landslide territory right now.

    @Colin “The Far Left remind me of a hapless father on bonfire night , stood in the rain waiting for that firework from last year to ignite in spectacular fashion……….whilst his sombre family peer through the rain soaked window, knowing that it won’t , and that it never does .”

    Amusing and true analogy!

  11. @Sea Change

    But the pollsters have made significant adjustment in the wake of their May 2015 debacle. The question is – Have they overcompensated? Some commentators suspect they have because there is very little sign of Tory strength in elections taking place outside Scotland. Indeed a relatively strong performance in Scotland would imply that the headline GB figures are somewhat flattering the Tories in terms of England & Wales.If so , it would suggest a Tory majority of no more than 30 on hese figures.

  12. Okay even if that was true, these figures do not take into account what would happen to Labour during an election campaign. Are you suggesting Corbyn will prove to be less of an election liability than Ed Miliband?

    @Graham

    My point is Labour would need to be in a better position than now to weather that campaign and not end up with a Tory landslide.

    As to elections outside of Scotland, considering the Government’s relative disarray coupled with us being 18 months into a Parliament they are doing exceptionally well all things considered.

    What that really says is just how abysmal Labour are doing, reflected in one lost deposit and one 4th place in by-elections.

  13. lib dems
    It is the iraq war all over again.if brexit in principle is killed by 2019 they will lose that single issue as everybody will be having a go at the detail by then.

    I am pleased to see that The EU brexit side is descending into chaos. EU parliament wants a separate say to EC. Junckers seems to behaving a50 type problem as well as he tries to keep them and individual states out of the negotiations. I predict a euro free for all. We can lend then Clegg and Soubry if they want.

  14. @S Thomas “We can lend then Clegg and Soubry if they want.”

    They’re all ready on the that team already with a hotline. I wonder if the tory local party of Broxtowe are considering a de-selection yet?

  15. Elections are a long way off; the Fixed term Parliaments Act ensures that.
    Predictions as to the result of an election in May 2020 are necessarily speculative and depend on whole raft of factors: I have previously pointed out that less than two years before the 1983 General Election Mrs Thatcher was the most unpopular Prime-Minister ever in the polls and the Conservatives were polling as low as 28% yet by 1983 she achieved something like 47% of the popular vote. This was much more than mid term blues.
    The real problem for Labour is that nothing it does appears to have any impact on the public view of economic competence: the narrative of the 2010 election blaming Labour for the 2008 Crash has had a long lasting impact. This must be overcome before Labour can make any genuine progress.
    The Corbyn problem has two sides he is marmite, unfortunately for him its a marmite that doesn’t fall on a 50/50 breakdown. However if he were replaced by someone more centrist this risks alienating the Labour core vote who having had a taste of a socialist agenda, like it. Labour must find a way to square this circle before too long.
    But all of this may be rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic as JM Keynes once quipped because the problem to quote Supermac is “events dear boy, events”.

  16. @Sea Change

    I believe that Corbyn’s status as a greater electoral liability than Milliband is already baked in these figures. In an election campaign I actually suspect he might surprise on the upside.He is quite good as a campaigner , and it is likely that he would perform better in relation to May than Milliband did in relation to Cameron. That said, I do not expect him to be there in 2020.

  17. G

  18. Good afternoon all from a sunny and mild Reigate

    No doubt the Lib/Dems will jump on this poll as some sort of anti Brexit bounce….. little reminder to them that 23 of their former seats actually voted leave.

  19. @Graham

    I disagree, the general absence of any concerted attacks from the Tories, apart from PMQs of course, towards Corbyn is very telling.
    They want him in place for the next election as they’ll have a field day.

    As to being a good campaigner. He was dreadful in the Referendum and seems to be only good at speaking to people already in his bubble.

  20. @Graham I disagree, the general absence of any concerted attacks from the Tories, apart from the weekly HoC PM’s Qs of course, towards Corbyn is very telling.

    They want him in place for the next election as they’ll have a field day.
    As to being a good campaigner, he was dreadful in the Referendum and seems to be only good at speaking to people already in his bubble.

  21. Jasper22 “Until the centre left sorts itself out, the Tories are unassailable.”
    Compared to the centre left of the 1980s, I think Mrs May has that sewn up.

  22. SEA CHANGE

    Yeah I tend agree with you on ol Corbyn. Appeals to the already converted but has little appeal beyond the Labour core. I think Graham is trying to reassure himself on Labour’s chances than reassuring the rest of us.

  23. Graham

    Using Election Calculus I get Conservative majorities of 42 (Old boundaries) or 72 (New boundaries). Like all the polls, IPSOS mori has it’s own quirks. Generally they appear to underrecord UKIP compared with other polls.

    There does appear to be some movement to LD’s as most of us have already identified but I would need to see other polls showing the LD’s at as much as14% before I would think this was anything other than a LD outlier.

  24. TOH

    I don’t take account of hypothetical new boundaries which become less likely anyway as the Government’s majority is eroded. Quite likely that by the time a vote takes place in Autumn 2018 a couple of further by election reverses will have cut the majority to just 6. Very few rebels would then be required to scupper the proposals.
    I have not looked at Electoral Calculus but perhaps they assume a few gains from the SNP.

  25. @Colin

    “Will the Corbyn project ever acknowledge that HE is the Polling problem for Labour?

    Will the CURRENT Membership ever acknowledge that Bennite policies in 2017 aren’t what the Voters want?”

    ————–

    Well, this raises a few questions. Notably… That he may be a problem for Labour, but it might not be the policies per se, it might be wot Alec goes on about, his management/PR etc. deficits.

    Or it may be that the electorate might be ok with the policies, but are like Alec unhappy with the management/PR etc. stuff. And party splits…

    After all a shift leftwards hasn’t done Thereas any harm. But of course, the real issue may be what the press think. If not happy with the policies, they may sell them poorly, ignore them, hype other issues. Such that while in theory public might approve of the policies if fairly put across, but if the press aren’t so fair…

    Then another angle might be that peeps might like many of the policies but put off by some of the past associations. A new leader might keep the economic policy etc. but not carry past baggage…

    Of course, if Theresa moves further left, Labour might fall further. Now if we had polling digging into all this…

  26. SEA CHANGE

    I don’t think the Referendum Campaign provided us with a leading indicator as to Corbyn’s campaigning abilities – simply because he was officially supporting Remain whilst in private probably voted Leave!

  27. The problem with Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition is twofold:

    1. He fails to provide effective Opposition
    2. He fails to provide effective Leadership

    Other than that he is fine.

  28. @Robin – yup damning!

    3. He espouses a set of beliefs that are anathema to both Middle England swing voters and to traditional Labour voting patriotic working classes.

    It’s electoral suicide. Labour tried this before in 1983 with a better leader.

  29. @Graham “simply because he was officially supporting Remain whilst in private probably voted Leave!”

    Well if that’s true, and it probably is, he’s going to do a terrible job of espousing any Labour Party policy lines during a Campaign he disagrees with, like retaining Trident, having an effective military, supporting the monarchy, being against his friends in Hamas etc

  30. “1. He fails to provide effective Opposition”

    ——–

    He’s quite good at opposing Blairite coups…

  31. @Graham – 2.40 p.m.

    Would you like to suggest which SNP seats are going to swing to the Tories in the next GE? If anything, the Tories may lose their one remaining Westminster seat if the boundary review goes through.

    As Old Nat tirelessly points out, to use the English model on any of the other three polities is a waste of time.

    One last thought on this: surely DevoMax would include the right of Holyrood to decide the boundaries of all Scottish seats in Westminster….. :-)

    As for the poll itself, are there no cross breaks, or was it entirely conducted in Metroland within the M25?

  32. None of what I wrote in my last comment should be taken to imply that I do not believe that Labour’s situation is, indeed, rather difficult. However, I don’t see the Tories keeping their large lead should the EU negotiations go belly up – whenever they finally get going, that is. UKIP is not a dead duck and remains a threat to both the two largest parties at Westminster, if only because it is unclear what effect it is going to have on voting intentions when the big day comes!

  33. Sea Change – I have to agree that it’s quite telling how the Tories are definitely dealing with both Corbyn and McDonnell with kid gloves, wait till we get into a GE campaign and see quite how many stories we see printed about their link to Irish Republican’s, Hezbollah etc.

  34. @ John B

    I am ignoring boundary changes for now because I am not persuaded they will actually happen.
    I rely on Anthony’s own Tory Target List for my prediction. From what appears there it would seem that the only SNP seat likely to fall to the Tories is Berwickshire , Roxburgh & Selkirk. It is not clear to me where thethe Electoral Calculus figures come from.

    As for Westminster boundaries , these are in the hands of the Westminster Parliament and remain unaffected by devolution.

  35. Allan Christie

    If the Lib Dems are regaining over 25 seats at the next election that will be a truly remarkable turn around in fortunes…
    However perhaps you could let me know how many seats the SNP won in 2015 that voted unionist in the Scottish referendum?
    40% is more than enough to win many Westminster seats.
    .

  36. CARFREW

    @”‘But of course, the real issue may be what the press think.”

    Ah yes-of course-the dastardly Right Wing Press whose every word a Nation of Zombie Voters follows with robotic obedience..

    Yep-I’d forgotten them. That’l be the problem then.

  37. @ED G

    Yes their kid glove treatment is an obvious next election strategy. In the HoC whenever Corbyn makes a reference to being in charge or that he is staying or that he has another question there are always cheers from the Tory backbenchers.

    I wonder if Corbyn’s position seems in peril again in a year’s time whether the Tories will try to get an election vote through the HoC. The left of the Labour party would probably vote for it as would the SNP. The idea of a Tory landslide majority “committed to Brexit” would work well for the SNP’s ultimate goal.

    As long as Corbyn is secure, May should hang on as long as possible before trying to go to the country.

  38. The crossbreaks on this poll look a bit odd.
    The figures for Scotland are SNP 36 Con 30 Lab 16 – which I suspect has the SNP far too low and the Tories too high. The England data comes out at Con 41 Lab 30 LD 14 . The Tory 11% lead compares with a lead of 9.5% in England in May 2015 – implying a swing of just 0.75% from Lab to Con there.On that swing Labour would lose just 8 seats – and most of them are held by Labour MPs likely to enjoy a first time incumbency boost. Very few seats in England, therefore, might change hands at all! The sample size of those giving a voting preference is under 700. I am a bit suspicious of the poll to be honest – exceptionally good for the Tories in Scotland but rather reassuring for Labour in England!

  39. I read correspondents comments with interest. I happen to notice that England alone in public opinion surveys gives Tory’s 44% and Labour 26%. It stands to reason that as most Labour seats are in the north, UKIP is now likely under its new working class leader will take Labour apart. I just can’t wait for the GE and seeing a picture of Corbyn as a tramp in a train carriage, refusing to sing the national anthem or with the IRA leadership. Labour working class supporters are nothing if not patriotic, and will be appalled by these images. I actually think a Tory majority of 200+ +is a distinct possibility

  40. SEA CHANGE @ED G
    The left of the Labour party would probably vote for it as would the SNP. The idea of a Tory landslide majority “committed to Brexit” would work well for the SNP’s ultimate goal.

    Why on earth would the SNP want an early UK GE?

    If the UK stays in the EEA then there will not be an early indyref2, especially if what were CFP & CAP matters are fully devolved.

    OTOH, if a hard Brexit is planned then indyref2 will be the priority before they even consider a UK GE. It is unlikely that, if won, independence day would be before the scheduled 2020 GE in any event, and I can’t see either side wanting one before that. If lost, time to regroup would be needed.

    And why would Lab vote for one unless HMG’s ratings fall drastically? Should May gerrymander a confidence vote, Corbyn would at least get to have a month as PM so why should he make it easy for her?

    Even though he would lose the GE on these polls, he would have much more exposure for his views in the broadcast media despite the press being largely against him.

  41. SEA CHANGE @ED G
    The left of the Labour party would probably vote for it as would the SNP. The idea of a Tory landslide majority “committed to Brexit” would work well for the SNP’s ultimate goal.

    Why on earth would the SNP want an early UK GE?

    If the UK stays in the EEA then there will not be an early indyref2, especially if what were CFP & CAP matters are fully devolved.

    OTOH, if a hard Brexit is planned then indyref2 will be the priority before they even consider a UK GE. It is unlikely that, if won, independence day would be before the scheduled 2020 GE in any event, and I can’t see either side wanting one before that. If lost, time to regroup would be needed.

    And why would Lab vote for one unless HMG’s ratings fall drastically? Should May deliberately lose a confidence vote, Corbyn would at least get to have a month as PM so why should he make it easy for her?

    Even though he would lose the GE on these polls, he would have much more exposure for his views in the broadcast media even though the press would be largely against him.

  42. 700 sample size would have a +/- MOE of 3.8%

    The English sample size would be smaller with a MOE of 4% to 5%

    Obviously the tiny sample size of Scotland would have a MOE far greater.

    I agree with OLDNAT that we need a Scotland only Westminster poll because the crossbreaks for Scotland are next to useless.

  43. I’m less certain that Cons have a definitive strategy for dealing with Corbyn, in the sense they are going easy now to keep him in post. They know how they will attack him, and that is likely o be highly effective, but the truth is that at present, every sinew of government is turned to Brexit. I don’t believe they have any time or energy for anything else. This is why a creaking NHS, collapsing prison service and already collapsed social care service are just sideline issues. Things that would normally be mission critical have become long grass issues, because they are faced with Brexit.

    On Labour and Corbyn, I would tend to agree with @Carfrew, up to a point, that it’s Corbyn more than his policies that are the bigger problem. However, his policies are also very limited in their horizons. In essence, I see three key issues with Corbyn;

    1) He’s useless.
    2) His background has some very devastating skeletons lurking there, which most voters will find deeply unappealing.
    3) His policies are not necessarily unpopular, but are so dull, dated and unimaginative.

    I am now content that he cannot do anything about 1) – we’ve given him long enough, and he did promise to do better in the second leadership election, and has clearly failed to improve.

    On 2), again, it’s too late. He can’t re-write his past, although some of his fans have been trying to re-write his wiki entry.

    3) is the interesting one. I believe there is electoral scope for a centre left party with radical (not necessarily ‘left radical’ if you get what I mean) policies, but Corbyn and McDonnel seem rooted very firmly in the past.

    For example, nationalising the railways is apparently popular, but only, I suggest, in the ‘something must be done’ mould. Many of us are old enough to recall just how [email protected] many nationalised industries were, but just because it was our [email protected] didn’t make it popular.

    There are a thousand and one ways to rejig ownership of services that actually respond to users needs and that can’t be readily reversed, but Corbyn doesn’t seem to have any imagination.

    I think there is a link between all three of the factors, in that Corbyn simply can’t recognise that 1980’s retreads aren’t going to cut it in 2020.

    Labour really do need to get rid of him urgently, but even more importantly, they need to very quickly rediscover their own imagination.

    In historical terms, I see the Tories as electorally and philosophically weak, with deep personal and political divisions, a poor leader, and facing a set of huge problems that they are highly unsuited to resolving – but Labour are worse.

  44. @BARBAZENZERO

    The SNP are committed to independence. A Tory landslide confirms the narrative that Scotland is being run by people that a large proportion of Scotland doesn’t like. At the moment the close polls show they would lose a 2nd Referendum. Anything that tips that towards the SNPs favour would in my opinion be considered a legitimate path for the SNP.

    If there was an election the SNP have a good chance of taking further seats on their current polling, certainly the Labour seat and probably the Lib Dem seat. The SNP are hardly likely to block an election with Labour in such a mess.

    As to the Labour party Corbyn has consistently said he would be happy to fight an election if May tries to call one. I think there would be enough left winners in Labour who would vote with him and the SNP to give May that election.

    Corbyn would obviously prefer to hang on until the Boundary Review in 2018 to get Labour candidates more in line with his beliefs. The Tories clearly like that idea as well as balancing the constituencies away from Labour.

    Therefore I think it is unlikely this will happen until then.

  45. Given that the small sample means it’s not worth even looking at the cross-breaks, the Economic Optimism Index seems to be quite interesting:

    Q: Do you think that the general economic condition of the country will improve, stay the same or get worse over the next 12 months?

    As: 51% Get worse, 24% Improve, 21% Stay the same, 5% Don’t Know

    The Get worse percentage is the worst since 2011. If that sort of level continues for any length of time, party percentages may well change.

  46. SEA CHANGE
    Anything that tips that towards the SNPs favour would in my opinion be considered a legitimate path for the SNP.

    I suggest you look at their policies a little more closely. They will bring forward indyref2 IF Brexit will leave the UK out of the EEA. There may well exist a few unionist europhiles who would consider the EEA insufficient, but there will be far too few of them for indyref2 to succeed.

    In the event of a hard Brexit, indyref2 is much more likely to succeed, but exit from the UK is unlikely to take less than 2 years, so a May 2018 indyref2 would be perfectly timed for independence to occur in 2020. A UK GE before then would be a distraction to everyone.

    IMHO, whether indyref2 succeeds, fails or doesn’t occur before 2020 the SNP are most unlikely to assist in facilitating an early UK GE.

  47. BZ

    I understand your point but I would suggest party preferences will only change if Labour is seen as likely to run the economy more efficiently than the Tories. There is no sign of that at the moment, and the Tory vote is holding very well indeed considering the Economic Optimism Index

  48. Alec

    “In historical terms, I see the Tories as electorally and philosophically weak, with deep personal and political divisions, a poor leader, and facing a set of huge problems that they are highly unsuited to resolving – but Labour are worse.”

    Well judging by the polls the voters don’t agree with you at all.

  49. While MORI’s methodology regularly over represents the Tory VI in Scotland, they are one of the companies that usefully show the large English crossbreak.

    Not as good as a proper English poll would be, but still useful. The figures are

    Con 41% : Lab 30% : LD 14% : UKIP 10% : Grn 4%

    The Scots & Welsh don’t have much influence on the rounded numbers in GB polls, but they do have some, so worth bearing in mind for the majority on here who are primarily interested in what is happening in their polity.

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