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. Prof Howard

    No polling evidence, but Sorrell is right to say that SLD have the pro both EU and UK Unions quadrant of Scottish politics to themselves. since SCon seem to have moved to the ultra-Unionist position of accepting whatever the UK (aka English) majority want.

    Where SLab stand is somewhat unclear!

    SNP and SGP are obviously both in the pro-EU, anti-UK unions quadrant.

    The SLD stance may well consolidate support in areas like NE Fife (and if Willie has a “spring in his step”, that might be why).

    Will that have any resonance in the May 2017 council STV elections? – I have no idea!

    the time of the 2020 UK GE and Holrood elections in 2021, will it still have relevance? – possibly.

  2. Sam S

    Andy Burnham came out with this a couple of weeks ago, but don’t forget that he’s about to resign as an MP to become mayor of Manchester.

  3. Andy Burnham is standing as the Labour candidate to be Mayor of Greater Manchester – NOT Manchester – two completely different entities ????

  4. ‘I think you’d need to address the huge political damage that would occur for the likes of the Labour party to be seen to be keeping the Tories in power. ‘

    I doubt that somehow . Labour would simply accuse the Tories of playing ‘fast & loose’ with the constitution for partisan purposes , and be able to cite the many statements from May denying any intent to call an early election. The electorate at large is hardly itching to return to the polls and few would pay much attention to the associated procedural squabbling. It would , however, convey the impression that May had lost control of events. As for party members being dismayed at being denied any chance to eject the Tories , I am sure they can read the polls like everyone else!

  5. The British voting public is a difficult thing to predict, so here are a couple to think about.

    What would it take for the Brexit shine to wear off?

    We are being told that there is a slow down in growth because of worries over Brexit, what we aren’t told is that we are fortunate to even be in a position of growth compared to the EU !

    Suppose though we were to move into a recession but the EU was in an even deeper recession, what would the public make of that? Would they be sophisticated enough to realise that we were actually doing better?

    (I do not believe that the same effect applies the other way around i.e. if we are in a growth situation).

    What happens if we do get a ‘bum deal’ from the EU, who gets the blame, our negotiators (the government) or the EU and how long does the blame last?

    So many scenarios and so many ways the blame could be placed – with enormous consequences.

    The spin doctors must be burning the candle at both ends !


    Splitting hairs?

    Standing as Labour in Manchester is the same as being elected! It’s a safe seat and no one else gets a look in.

  7. @Thoughtful

    Get with the programme, and consider the polling. Current!y many, many things can and are blamed on immigration. Gift that keeps on giving…

  8. Oldnat

    Yes, the narrative thing is crucial. People don’t, on the whole, do analysis. But they are receptive to stories. And so, the best storytellers get to control events. It’s the Pied Piper thing. Or, the emperor with no clothes.

    Personally, I tend to enthuse about the EU on a happy-clappy, personal level just because I take so much delight in seeing people from many and varied European countries mingling, working together, enjoying each other’s company and generally enjoying what our wonderful continent has to offer. And I set that against a background where these self-same people have spent millennia at each other’s throats.

    Probably I’m naive and simplistic, and I accept that it’s easy to mock sunny optimism. But I’d rather be mocked than suffer from corrosive cynicism.

  9. @Sea Change

    Hilarious. Naturally yu left out the second quarter where growth went above 2 percent.

    That’s from minus six percent to plus two, an EIGHT PERCENT GAIN inside two years.

    Even if you pretend impact of stimulus feeds through instantly, and ignore the second quarter, it’s still a SEVEN PRECENT gain in less than two years.

    An astonishing turnaround after the biggest banking crash in a hundred years.

    You also leave out how growth then fell in the aftermath of the cuts before the housing stimulus.

  10. @Somerjohn
    “It’s odd that so many people accept that immigration from rEU to the UK is bound to exceed flows the other way.”

    It’s not so odd if you see the figures. There is a very clear upward trend, and the net flow has always been inwards since 1994. It’s not ‘bound’ to be like this, but it would take something dramatic – such as Brexit – to change the trend.


  11. @Carfrew

    The election happened during the 2nd quarter!
    The coalition agreement was concluded during that quarter. They only had the past to go on which had been a disaster.

  12. @Sea Change – “The Act was used to prop up a coalition in a time of perceived national need.”

    Gosh! Someone out there still thinks David Cameron did something because of ‘national need’, rather than Conservative Party tactical benefit.

    How quaint.

  13. @Somerjohn,

    You know my views on UK population levels. Net outward migration would be fine with me, because it would take the pressure off our housing market and infrastructure and reduce the demand for building on green spaces, which is ultimately the thing I care about most.

    If the reason for people leaving was because there were excellent economic opportunities for them afforded by the renaissance of their home countries, I’d be ecstatic.

    What I don’t want is anyone leaving because they feel unwelcome. I strongly support the view held on all sides that all EU citizens currently resident in the UK (minus a few criminals) are welcome to stay and, in the long run (like half my family) become British.

  14. Suzanne Evans on Newsnight tonight claimed that the last EU referendum poll she’d seen had Leave at 68%. I follow polls quite closely and I’ve never seen this. Anyone have evidence for this?

  15. @Bigd – got this – https://twitter.com/Trev_Forrester/status/801536361195044864

    Don’t know the source, but searching.

  16. Neil A

    “I strongly support the view held on all sides that all EU citizens currently resident in the UK (minus a few criminals) are welcome to stay and, in the long run (like half my family) become British.”

    That seems much in line with the Tamworth Manifesto that is the bedrock of Tory thinking –

    Accept what has happened (that you totally opposed) because you don’t think it can be reversed – but oppose all future changes to the established norm (until you’re forced to accept them as well).

  17. @Bigd – as the tweet cites Yougov as the poll source, it’s clear that is is a l!e. (I won’t say ‘post truth’ here – a l!e is a l!e).

    Evans appears to be playing from the Trump playbook. I become increasingly convinced that we need an army of real time investigators with direct feeds to TV interviewers so we can challenge these people when they deliberately toss out l!es to the viewers.

  18. @Alec – As you say no source. I’ve seen recent polls with virtually a 50/50 split when people are asked if Brexit was the right or wrong decision. If this was a YouGov result I suspect the question was along the lines of “Now the UK voted to leave the EU should the result be respected?” That’s very different to claiming 68% would vote for Brexit if there was a referendum tomorrow.

  19. @Oldnat

    You may see it that way. For me its more of a humanity thing.

    I wish the population of the UK was under 30 million. That doesn’t mean I want to deport or kill 35 million people.

    I wish half the urban development in the UK had never happened (including the estate on which I live, built in the early 2000s). That doesn’t mean I want to knock it all down and leave the occupants homeless.

    I wish European economic migrants hadn’t rushed in their millions to the shores of the Americas and the Antipodes, but that doesn’t mean I want all white people to be removed from those places.

    I’d rather we weren’t starting from here, but we are, and it is not the fault of most of the people currently alive, so I would not want to see them pay for what I see as the mistakes of others.

  20. @Alec

    Actually I thought the coalition agreement was a mistake at the time and the Tories would have been better served as a Minority Administration and calling a new election in the Autumn 2010.

  21. Neil A

    Actually, I wasn’t being critical of you!

    Just pointing out that accepting what you thought was a bad idea, but recognising that there is sod all you can do to reverse it, is basically what the Tamworth Manifesto was largely about!

    In other words, being a Tory isn’t necessarily a bad thing – and you don’t have to apologise for adhering to that principle!

    It’s always worth having those who resist changes in political debate – otherwise there can be stampede into unwise decisions (as long as your resistance loses, of course. :-) )

  22. Oldnat

    Sorry if I seemed touchy. I suppose all I was trying to express is that I see a balance between choosing the right path, and the welfare of the people in that path.

    Where there are mistakes that have been made that can be corrected without trampling on people, I am all in favour of turning the clock back. Brexit I suppose is a loose example of that.

    And of course like anyone my views evolve over time as I get older, experience more situations and more people, and continue to be exposed to the views of others (and the evidence that underpins them) in debates such as this. For example I had to look up the Tamworth Manifesto, as although I knew Peel was a reformer (you might expect me to know a bit about Peel…) I didn’t have a clue what that declaration contained!

    There are things that once I would have opposed that I now support, but rightly or wrongly I like to think that is because I know better, not because I’ve ‘surrendered to the inevitable’ in some way.

    I’d cough to being a “resister” though. I suppose that’s the essence of conservatism. Someone says “let’s do this!” and I say “why?”.

  23. Attempt 2. Tricky stuff, commenting on post-truth.


    Hillary had fact-checkers chasing down Trump’s l–s, and it did no good.

    I think the only option is to suspend access to the airwaves for a sensible period of time (one week? a month?) and to include in every relevant news item where they might have been asked to comment/participate a statement that (for instance) UKIP’s views have not been requested because they make deliberately untr– statements.

    And news reports could explicitly comment on the fal–hood of statements, or simply say that “Boris Johnson’s speech is not being reported because it contained bare-f–ed l–s”.

    The requirement to give balanced airtime only applies to truth or opinion. It does not include a requirement to give airtime to l–rs.


    “The election happened during the 2nd quarter!
    The coalition agreement was concluded during that quarter. They only had the past to go on which had been a disaster”


    Already dealt with that. You are presuming that the impact of stimulus would stop the minute the coalition took office. (Or in fact, a month beforehand).

    And even if we put that yo one side, like I said you are ignoring the SEVEN percent turnaround BEFOREHAND and how growth plateaued and fell with the cuts.

    From the lowest point we had an average of roughly two percent INCREASE in growth each quarter, which is pretty amazing and if that trajectory had continued rather than being choked of following the cuts…

  25. Switzerland v EU over free movement


    Swiss bend first, but far enough?

  26. “I’d cough to being a “resister” though. I suppose that’s the essence of conservatism. Someone says “let’s do this!” and I say “why?”.”


    Well quite. “Why??!!” indeed. No one has yet given a good reason for why synth prices had to go up…

  27. @Carfrew

    To pay for care for the elderly?

    Where does Rick Wakeman fit into that equation?…

  28. Neil A

    “I suppose that’s the essence of conservatism. Someone says “let’s do this!” and I say “why?”.”

    While for me, if someone says “let’s not do this!” I might say “Why not?”

    Two sides of the same coin?

    In both our professions, the evidential basis should be paramount – while we would both recognise that there is a lot of bias goes into the interpretation of any evidence!

  29. @Oldnat

    I think I’d probably adopt a uniquely Scottish legal phrase.

    When the verdict is “not proven”, the status shouldn’t change.

    But yes, different jurors will of course make differing decisions as what is proven and what isn’t, and human nature is that this will be at least partly based on what they’d like to see the verdict be in a world without evidence.

  30. @BigD @Alec She’s quoting this:


    “68% of people think that Britain should go ahead with Brexit, unchanged from when we asked the same question in October. People who voted to Remain in June are evenly divided between those who opposed Brexit, but think the government has a duty to implement the decision and leave, and those who would like to see the government ignore or overturn the referendum result.”

  31. Neil A

    “When the verdict is “not proven”, the status shouldn’t change.”

    That’s probably a very useful statement of the conservative position. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to be the Conservative position on many things, does it?

    The verdict on Brexit can’t be proven before it happens. The implementation of the sanctions regime on disabled claimants wasn’t proven before it was introduced, and the current evidential basis doesn’t suggest it was either clever nor humanitarian.

    So conservatism can be OK, but Conservatism can be an irrational, evidence-free, ideological attack on the status quo.

    Isn’t there a certain lack of consistency between these two positions?

  32. Hey I didn’t say I was Conservative, merely conservative.

    There’s much about the way the Conservative Party approaches things that I disapprove of. More often than not it’s when it’s not being very conservative. I’m certainly not a spokesman for it (any more at least, I suppose there was a time when I was of sorts, but that’s getting on for 30 years ago).

    Brexit is for me an unusual example. I was against it for a very long time, and only the consistent failure to make any dent at all on mass migration from Eastern Europe convinced me to change my mind. If the Eastern bloc hadn’t joined (although I was in favour of them joining), if they hadn’t been granted freedom of movement (although I was in favour of them being granted that) or if freedom of movement had resulted in only modest migration (as we were promised it would by experts) then I’d be a Remainer still.

  33. Neil A

    “Hey I didn’t say I was Conservative, merely conservative.”

    Ah! So you’re really a Labour supporter! :-)

  34. Yes, because every body who is not a member of the Conservative Party is definitely a supporter of the Labour Party, including you, presumably?!

    I’d describe my views as somewhere at the bluer end of the LibDem Orange Book, but with a strong dose of Euroscepticism which with politics as it stands would prevent me supporting that party.

    I’m not hostile to the Tory party, that’s for sure, and I usually vote for it.

  35. Neil A

    I fear that you misunderstood my quip that Labour are very conservative in their thinking – possibly even more true of SLab than ELab though.

  36. The complexities of Brexit.

    Ireland wants to avoid “punishing” UK – but especially wants to protect NI and Scotland from reaction to the E&W vote.


    Ireland could be the UK’s best ally among the 27 (for their own interests) – but intransigence on flexible arrangements could cost the UK dear.

  37. @Neil A

    I’m not sure how making the elderly pay more for their synths helps them. Regarding Mr Wakeman, although known to use the Minimoog in his heyday, and I think later on the Polymoog on “Going for the One”, he tended to major on piano and Hammond Organ, alongside the use of orchestras. Orchestras might be more authentic than string synths etc., but the cost of touring orchestras tended to leave him out of pocket, being even more expensive than synths…

    His fellow band member Steve Howe had the right idea and stuck to guitar, thus avoiding the expenditure on synths.** I saw Steve Howe on a solo tour a couple of years ago and he kept it real simple, mostly sticking to acoustic guitar…

    * Of course if you are afflicted with playing guitar synths as well as keyboard synths then you’re really in trouble…

  38. oldnat,
    ” It might sway a few that haven’t already been, but the fundamental fault line isn’t Tory/anti Tory any more – it’s the constitutional issue(s).”

    An interesting question is whether Brexit has now created a similar permanent duality in England.

    Ron Olden,
    “Theresa May can credibly say that she wants this fresh mandate as she has never been elected PM herself and she wants the mandate to provide the best united front possible to get the best she can get from the EU. Otherwise it’s a totally ‘Hard’ Brexit.”

    To my mind the question is not whether May can find a time when she might hope for a big win, but whether she wants a big win, or might prefer a flakey majority. This in turn depends on her belief for the outcome of Brexit. If she thinks there is any reasonable chance that it will be an economic disaster, then her strategy has to be to distance the conservatives as far as possible from that disaster. She is committed to seeing through Brexit, so cannot simply U turn, but needs to involve labour in the process of Brexit. This only happens if she has a small majority and labour parliamentary votes matter.

    I agree with you that if the result of leaving in 2019 was short term economic disruption, then having a couple of years for the economy to settle might be advantageous, but i am not seeing much to suggest that even another couple of years will be time fro Brexit to revert to business as usual.

  39. The only way brexit can be stopped is by having a general election.hence those who advocate it invariably are remainers who see it as the last gasp.

    What problem does a general election fix?The tories have a majority on all likely issues, the opposition is in chaos, the prime minister has nothing to gain but everything to lose, reinforcements will arrive 2018/9.Brexit is the issue. a general election will stir the pot, muddy the waters, supersede the referendum,you can hear all the arguments now. The one thing i guarrantee that it will not bring is clarity.

  40. In regard to running election or referendum campaigns and the deliberate telling of untruths, perhaps there should be mandatory under oath debates. A bit like a Supreme Court hearing, where each side can put their arguments and there is a panel of Judges asking questions. If we want to secure a decent democratic system for the electorate, perhaps we need a legal way of holding Politicians to account for anything they claim during campaigns.

    On a totally different subject, why does one party always seems to have problems with Prisons ? I can’t remember many such problems as Birmingham from 1997 to 2010. Also i wonder what statistics reveal about number of days lost to strike action each year and whether one party suffers more than another. Could it be that one party is better at running publicly funded services and industrial relations policies ? One party is more likely to intervene in disputes in the interests of the public and another party does not think they have a role in intervening.

  41. Pleasing result from the YouGov poll on Art.50. A majority of 19% think May should be able to trigger Art.50 without a vote in Parliament. Amongst the over 65’s the majority was 72%, I guess people like me anxious to get on with it and enjoy being outside the EU.

  42. The other Howard,
    “I see no sign of that in the polls. For the last month the Tories have led by an average of 13%, with an average vote indication of 41% compared with Labours 28%, traditionally landslide territory.”

    I posted it was the US ‘60% dislike all candidates’ all over again, and you quote me a poll saying 41% support tories?

  43. Danny

    If you cannot see the importance of the numbers in a UK context then i cannot help you I’m afraid.

  44. Sorry chaps, what is happening with Labour? That Christmas song is beyond bad. ‘Do retail workers know it’s Christmas time at all?’. Yes, they work in retail remember.

    With these sort of songs, you get the words and syllables right, then overlay the message, not the other way round.

  45. Toh Cameron said he would go to Brussels and trigger article 50 the day after a loss in the referendum, hope you did not believe him. I believe he will go down as the worst prime minister since the second world war,with no successful legacy for historians to write about.His only concern was for the management of the conservative party and not the wider public.I hear after 10 years he is now grouse shooting again, he should never have stopped but he was more bothered about how it would look,.No wonder there is a lack of trust in politicians.

  46. Dez

    I believe that David Cameron, along with James Callaghan, have been the best Prime Ministers of the past 50 years.
    Both were non idealogues, easy going and dealt with some big problems in a sensible matter of fact way.
    The best of British.

  47. @ToH
    I think Danny is talking not about how many voters support the Tories(clearly they have an overwhelming lead) but how enthusiastically those voters support them.

    Apocryphal I know, and therefore virtually worthless, but I know quite a few people who are Tory Remainers (remember ~35% of Tories voted Remain) or soft Brexiters who are astonishingly unenthusiastic about the government’s performance so far, including one who used to be leader of the local council. they are unlikely to vote anything but Tory (one or two might lend their votes to the Libdems) but would do so with minimal enthusiasm.

    @SeaChange – The misleading element of Suzanne Evans’ statement is that 68% SUPPORT Brexit – there is no evidence of that being the case at all.

    I am still opposed to Brexit but would rank as a ‘supporter’ to Ms Evans because I think the result of the referendum has to be respected.

    She understand this distinction full well, but is happy to mis-state the situation subtly to try to bolster her ‘side’ of the debate…

  48. Jasper when historians write about post second world war changes to the UK .,I am sure your opinion will be a minority view.Attlee and Thatcher had the most influence In my lifetime for the economy Blair 97 to 2007 was the best period.


    I did appreciate that, and my poiny is I don’t agree with him, or you on this. I thimk the Tories will likely increase in the popularity stakes once Art. 50 is triggered. There is a lot of frustration out there because of the delay in implementing the start of the process of leaving the EU.

  50. DEZ

    I agee with you about Atlee and Thatcher, but for me the 80’s was a great and exciting decade. Of course it’s all a matter of how individuals were affected or influenced during historic decades.

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