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. Old Nat – 01.17

    Thanks for the Buzzfeed link. Very hopeful. Good to know that we’ve some friends south of the Border, even if it is a different Border from the one normally referred to on this site!

  2. @ToH
    I agree robust Brexiters are likely to be frustrated by the delays and respond more positively to moving forward with A50; however i think most fo them are firmly in the Tory camp anyway, although there may be some trending UKIP.

    However the people I am talking to and about are not staunch Brexiters, despite being Tory voters and (in a few cases) Tory members.

    I suspect, from our conversations, that triggering A50 is not key for them, rather that the content of any Brexit proposal or agreement is coherent and meets their desires for single market access and availability of labour for their businesses. I am not confident that they will be happy about the outcome, but I may be wrong.

    These people will never vote UKIP (as they are lukewarm Brexiters at best) or Labour (they are viscerally anti-Corbyn, not to mention trade unions), but might lend votes to LibDems if they continue to be unhappy with government direction on Brexit.

  3. TOH

    What you seem to be forgetting is that the delay in starting the Article 50 process would seem to be, in part at least, a legal one. I do not mean this merely in the sense that some people opposed to leaving the EU have brought a case to the English courts and now the UK Supreme Court. There are much more complex issues surrounding the Scotland and Wales Devoution settlements and, crucially, the Northern Ireland settlement.

    I do not remember any of the Brexit side bothering to discuss, or even mention, these complex issues during the pre-Referendum period, whereas those who were against Brexit were quite clear on the legal ramifications for the devolution settlements.

    If we find ourselves now in a situation where nothing can be done without causing legal mayhem, then that is quite plainly the fault of those who refused to look at reality and claimed that leaving the EU would be an easy thing to achieve.

    And all that before we even start talking about trade deals!!

  4. The Irish economist David McWilliams thinks there is a good chance of Italy leaving the euro before Britain leaves the EU:

    http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2016/12/12/italy-is-gradually-going-out-of-business

    We might not have to do anything apart from sit on our hands and wait, and then do individual bespoke deals with whatever remains of the EU.

  5. TOH

    I was referring to yours of 11.14.

    And please read the Buzzfeed link from Old Nat (01.17) if you have not already done so.

    It would seem to me that this debate is taking place in two parallel universes: one, based in the south of England, looks only to the immediate continent and doesn’t like what it sees; the other, based further north and west, looks (only?) at the north Atlantic/North Sea/Baltic, and remembers that for centuries northern Britain’s main trading areas were these.

    To conclude: I see no easy answer to the questions being raised by the Brexit vote.

  6. Candy

    The EU is not the Euro.
    The EU may welll survive the collapse of the Euro, even if most of the EU’s leading politicians do not.
    My view was always that other countries ought to have adopted the German mark, rather than produce a totally new currency.

    Having said that, the Euro, in the sense of haing one currency throughout the EU, is an excellent idea, put into operation badly by governments who were not willing to grasp the nettle and put into practice the necessary discipline when times were still good.

    My worry is that the collapse of the Euro may lead to considerable disruption, and, possibly, to the breakdown of the post 1945 settlement in Europe. But perhaps that, and the accompanying wars, is what you would prefer?

  7. @John B

    The Euro is a core part of the EU – it is the thing that destabalised it.

    Britain is not responsible for any of this – we didn’t make them join the euro, and we arn’t responsible for the demented way they have managed it.

    But it is in our interests that the instability caused by the euro ends. And we don’t have to do anything for this to happen – merely sit and watch and wait.

    As for the contention that the collapse of the euro will cause wars – please! Currencies go wrong all the time all over the world without a war. Are you suggesting that europeans are uniquely violent?

  8. THE OTHER HOWARD
    I guess people like me anxious to get on with it and enjoy being outside the EU.

    Fair enough, but the bring back control theme doesn’t seem to be quite so important as was made out in the referendum campaign.

    If the SC ruling goes in favour of HMG, the Westminster parliament will have less authority than it did in the days of England’s Elizabeth I.

    JASPER22 @ DEZ
    Both [Cameron & Callaghan] were non idealogues, easy going and dealt with some big problems in a sensible matter of fact way.

    Surprisingly [to me, at least] I agree with you. The trouble is that both were undermined by their awkward squads and ultimately defeated by them.

  9. John B
    “What you seem to be forgetting is that the delay in starting the Article 50 process would seem to be, in part at least, a legal one. “

    Not forgetting anything John. I cannot speak for those who actively campaigned to leave the EU, but I was well aware that leaving would be complicated and might well involve legal issues around the devolved governments. That is not in any way a reason for not leaving the EU. Indeed it is a good reason for getting on with it as soon as legally possible before things get even more complicated.

    “It would seem to me that this debate is taking place in two parallel universes”

    I don’t agree with your analysis re the North and South of the UK. There were over a million in Scotland who voted Brexit and swathes of the North of England also did so. As to trade, people like me want to make Trade deals throughout the World so that we are not dependent on any one area for the bulk of our Trade. I believe we are the most outward looking people in the UK at the moment.

  10. BZ

    “If the SC ruling goes in favour of HMG, the Westminster parliament will have less authority than it did in the days of England’s Elizabeth I.”

    Why, the Royal perogative has been used a number of times over the years, it’s nothing new, the Government is not trying to use new powers.

  11. THE OTHER HOWARD
    Why, the Royal perogative has been used a number of times over the years, it’s nothing new, the Government is not trying to use new powers.

    Because it will be allowed to remove rights from citizens without parliamentary agreement. That has been deemed illegal in England since 1610.

  12. Some comments on Conservative Home that the Government’s lack of interest in traditional Conservative areas is leading to protest votes for the LibDems. In particular people are very upset that Theresa May was more interested in putting down comments about her trousers rather than sorting out the rail crisis let alone the crisis in social care.

  13. THE OTHER HOWARD

    I should have added that English law didn’t change in 1610 [1], but merely judged Jim 6 & 1 ultra vires. England’s Liz 1 was subject to exactly the same laws but didn’t push her luck quite so far.

    [1] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_of_Proclamations

  14. BARBAZENZERO

    Thanks for your clarification of the legal issuem I don’t claim any great legal knowledge. Presumably if the SC find in the Governments favour then they will have deemed your view incorrect.

    Obviously despite what you say i will be happy if the SC does find in the Governments favour.

  15. When posters refer to the 48% who voted to remain it is always IMHO to be cautious. The remain vote must have been a vote of approval for the concessions negotiated by Cameron. These included an opt out of Political Union which Major had conceded and blair confirmed in lisbon.

    That in itself was a dramatic change in direction for the uk. If cameron had pushed that rather than the dog whistle benefit point which he ,in fact, negotiated a worse position than we had currently enjoyed, the brexit sovereignty vote might have been swayed because it would have had to be accompaniied by restricting the ECJ jurisdiction to pre masstrict level as far as the uk was concerned.

    The lords cttee which looked at fishing missed, of course, the main lever. it is not the catching of the fish which builds a fishing industry but the landing of the fish. if all fish caught in uk waters have for scientific/ c onservation to be landed in the uk the freezing ,canning, export industry will thrive.

  16. Btl in the guardian I saw a tally of by election results that appears to lend credence to evidence a lib dem local revival.

    Since the referendum vote the poster claimed losses for blues and reds of about 45 and gains for the libs of about 25. Greens and ukips both lost a few.

    I can’t vouch for its veracity or scope but it does reinforce lib claims of a comeback.

    Historically iirc lib resurgences start local.

  17. THE OTHER HOWARD
    Obviously despite what you say i will be happy if the SC does find in the Governments favour.

    Unsurprising over Brexit, but your offspring may not thank you should a future HMG decide to takeover individual’s assets without compensation.

  18. BARBAZENZERO

    That will almosr ceretainly happen anyway, it’s known as Inheritance Tax.

  19. THE OTHER HOWARD

    Re Inheritance Tax, I probably feel much the same as you do. :<(}

    It took me a decade to persuade my late mother to change her will to skip a generation to help minimise it. However, rates etc. are approved by parliament.

    See http://www.parliament.uk/search/results/?q=inheritence+tax

  20. BZ

    Of course parliament do, I was pulling your leg.

  21. I am very dubious of reading too much into some of these local council by-election results.

    Having just looked at two where the voter numbers are available – in both of which there were gains for different parties – the total turnout was less than that for the winning councilor in May 2016!

    On a related note – it would be “nice” if there was a central website that you could look for these results, rather than having to google through party or local paper sites. if anyone could point me to such a site it would be good!!

  22. Opinium/Polling Matters poll (via Number Cruncher)

    “Should there be a second EU referendum if economy significantly worsens?”

    YES 33
    NO 52

    Crossbreaks (Yes/No)

    CON 24-69
    LAB 53-32
    UKIP 10-88
    LD 62-32
    SNP 42-40

    M 31-58
    F 35-47

    18-34 42-35
    35-44 40-44
    45-54 28-60
    55-64 27-63
    65+ 23-68

    Fuller dertails from Polling Matters here

    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2016/12/17/poll-alert-polling-matters-opinium-voters-back-soft-brexit-but-reject-second-referendum-even-if-the-economy-worsens/

  23. @Jasper

    “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.”

    ———-

    Callaghan is understandable, got us through the bulk of the oil crisis while preserving much of our industry. But not a no brainier to put Cammo ahead of someone like Major, whose response to recession left us in good shape going forward. Whereas Cameron’s response rapidly saw an end to the growth he inherited and deficit hence taking an age to come down. Also, Major managed to achieve his objective of keeping the country in the EU…

    Politically of course, the Tories didn’t do so well under Major in the end, so,it kinda depends what your reference point is…

  24. Opinium/Polling Matters (Brexit preference):

    HARD BREXIT 35
    SOFT BREXIT 41

  25. @ micromark

    re local council results:

    “On a related note – it would be “nice” if there was a central website that you could look for these results”,

    There is. See Britian Elect’s spreadsheet at

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X85PgCqavImGZPGdbrEfQc6uzNP98KXwZcf-8JsKZto/edit

    and also his twitter feed, for election results as they come in, and occasional additional analysis, links, etc.

  26. Barbazenzero

    “Fair enough, but the bring back control theme doesn’t seem to be quite so important as was made out in the referendum campaign.”

    The EU are perfectly open about wanting a single European state.

    The problem this country has is most of the public don’t want that while most of the political-media class (including the Con leadership) do – hence 40 years of Con leadership dishonesty e.g. “in Europe but not run by Europe.”

    So what you’re missing is the Con leadership have no intention of Brexit if they can possibly wriggle out of it (although they may well be forced into it through having to maintain the dishonesty). They’re just trying to kill off Ukip and then backtrack.

    So for the people who want Brexit “bring back control” is hugely important but for the Con leadership it’s not important at all except it needs to appear so to keep their voters on side.

    ///

    oddly enough it’s not just the Cons who are split between the leadership and the core now

    i’d say the cubanista leadership are less pro EU than the cubanista core and the Blairite leadership are more pro EU than their core

    (defining Blairite here as pragmatic to the point of dishonesty and beyond)

  27. MRJONES
    So what you’re missing is the Con leadership have no intention of Brexit if they can possibly wriggle out of it (although they may well be forced into it through having to maintain the dishonesty). They’re just trying to kill off Ukip and then backtrack.

    That’s pretty much what I thought in the immediate aftermath of the referendum and posted on these threads that I thought that the Chevening Brexiteers had been set up to fail by May to provide apposite scapegoats.

    However, my current thoughts are more like those of a client of mine about 40 years ago: I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure.

    Time and the Supreme Court will tell, of course.

  28. @Saffer

    I know about Britain Elects! Their latest spreadsheet entries for the local elections are more than a month old. And they don’t give a full breakdown of all the numbers.

    So there is no info on the latest LibDem gains that everyone is referencing!

    And other sites only give the percentage changes without the raw numbers, which look good for a party that gains a seat on a “large” swing.

    It looks to me that in most of the gains the winning party was able to get its support out to vote!

  29. @BIGFATRON Re: Suzanne Evans

    I haven’t heard what she said and am not defending her. Others were talking about where the 68% figure came from and I posted the yougov poll for them. If you have a link to what she said I would like to watch it to ascertain if she was wilfully misleading people.

  30. @OLDNAT

    Opinium/Polling Matters (Brexit preference):
    HARD BREXIT 35
    SOFT BREXIT 41

    Do you have a link to the questions please?

    Does it say for instance what a soft brexit entails like uncontrolled immigration from the EU?

  31. @Jasper
    “I believe that David Cameron, along with James Callaghan, have been the best Prime Ministers of the past 50 years.”

    What a shrinking majority don’t know – because the BBC covered it up – is we’ve been going back to Victorian levels of over crowding and sweatshops since around 2000.

    The best legacy Cameron can hope for long-term is “Blair’s mini-me.”

  32. Sea Change

    As much detail as there is (but it does contain the details of the options presented to those polled) are in the Political Betting article I linked to above.

    Presumably Opinium will publish the tables nest week.

  33. BZ

    Almost right – I’d gone to make myself a cup of coffee. :-)

  34. Barbazenzero

    “However, my current thoughts are more like those of a client of mine about 40 years ago: I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure.”

    Yeah i think that’s probably right – with so many of the players being dishonest but at the same time trying to maintain consistency the final result could be anything.

  35. OLDNAT

    Having been an expat off and on since I was 16 I never did get the UKish tea habit myself. Currently I’m in Southern Spain where good Manzanilla sherry costs about €3/bottle, and is the drink of choice with afternoon tapas.

  36. Barbazenzero

    Ooh! I’m jealous!

    On the Opinium poll (though the Scots crossbreak may be tiny, and we won’t know till we see the tables), I was somewhat surprised that 56% of Scots wanted a 2nd referendum – since we’ve had more of them than others, in recent years.

    One might uselessly speculate about possible reasons – but I’ll resist that.

  37. BARBAZENZERO

    Is the Jamon de Serrano still as cheap because it seems to have become seen as a luxury starter in the UK?

    Absolutely gorgeous with a glass of Malaga wine, but now it’s even found its way into the Harrods Christmas hampers

  38. Arguably the wording of the two options relating to Hard and Soft Brexit is very biased, as they say” ask a silly question” get a silly answer. I believe that is no real measure of opinion.

  39. OLDNAT

    As Wilde put it, I can resist everything except temptation, but perhaps it just shows that Scots are “beyond” polling fatigue. After all, virtually all know there will likely be a 2nd indyref in the event of a hard Brexit, so 56% may just regard an EUref2 as a less demanding option.

  40. TOH

    You will have noted Pedley’s comment that “Before we go further we should acknowledge that this is a difficult exercise to undertake in a survey environment. We are not suggesting that Britain’s choice – insofar as it has one – is as binary as described above. Indeed, many Brexiteers will dispute the idea that there is an economic trade-off with a ‘hard Brexit’ at all. However, we still feel that this is a useful exercise. In presenting the choice as we have above we can start to understand what voter’s value most in any Brexit deal and therefore the prism through which they will see what is eventually agreed”

    “Bias” and “silly” are, perhaps, not the appropriate terms to describe the text of the two scenarios painted.

  41. THOUGHTFUL
    Is the Jamon de Serrano still as cheap because it seems to have become seen as a luxury starter in the UK?

    Currently, I spend around a third of my time in Switzerland, a third in Spain and the rest travelling hither and yon.

    Serrano ham is certainly cheaper in Spain than the Swiss equivalents are in Switzerland and you can also now buy the local equivalent of Bundnerfleisch [Air dried or smoked beef] here much cheaper than the Swiss versions. Personally, I prefer the beef versions but both are around €3 for 200g in major supermarkets.

    OLDNAT shouldn’t feel too jealous as the rainy weather here on the Malaga coast is worse than Peterhead’s today, albeit a little warmer at about 16° compared to 8°.

  42. @micromark

    Britain Elects can be slow in adding individual results to the spreadsheet, and the more up to date twitter posts omit the number of votes. An alternative source is at Conservative Home, using the tag “by-election results”. eg, for this weeks elections, see here:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2016/12/council-by-election-results-from-yesterday-109.html

    Yes, the actual votes cast were down for these by-elections – but I understand the previous results were against a vote that coincided with a general election.

    If “the gains the winning party was able to get its support out to vote” – that’s what winning elections is all about.

  43. Candy – 12.15

    I apologise if I was unclear. I intended to say that the collapse of the EU, not the Euro, would lead to great disruption and potentially warfare – civil in the first instance, but not necessarily ending there.

    The collapse of the Euro would also cause disruption, but nothing like on the same scale.

  44. TOH – 1.17 p.m.

    I don’t share you optimism, but that should not surprise you.
    I am concerned that you and others are looking at the world ‘out there’ with rose tinted spectacles. The UK on its own is not going to be able to achieve what being part of a large bloc achieves.

    Of course, you could argue that (going back to the earlier debate on aircraft carriers and BAE etc) we are going to end up as de facto a subsiduary of the USA. That’s fine if you want that to happen, but if the choice is between Merkel’s Europe and Trump’s USA I think I would prefer the former.

  45. S Thomas – 2.15 p.m

    ‘When posters refer to the 48% who voted to remain it is always IMHO to be cautious. The remain vote must have been a vote of approval for the concessions negotiated by Cameron. These included an opt out of Political Union which Major had conceded and blair confirmed in lisbon.’

    Er, no! I voted in favour of remaining in Europe because I believe in the project. Cameron and Thatcher and others have spent the last thirty-five years gaining concession after concession out of the EU, leaving other, often poorer countries, to pick up the tab. Personally I’m ashamed of the ‘rebate’ and all the other ‘opt outs’ which the UK has claimed, and I am not surprised that the others had had enough when Cameron came back for yet more special pleading. I voted to stay in the EU in the hope that the UK might finally commit itself to working with, instead of against, the common good of Europe. After all, we had so much to offer by way of positive ideas, and yet we’ve thrown it all way, thus diminishing ourselves and reducing Europe’s range of experience.
    It’s a sad tale of lost opportunities in my view.

  46. “… as they say” ask a silly question” get a silly answer. I believe that is no real measure of opinion.”
    @The Other Howard December 17th, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Do you want to remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

    Difficult to find a more silly question. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  47. John B

    Your 6.02. I don’t for one minute accept your definition of the options.

    However if I had to chose between being close to the EU or the Commonwealth plus the USA I would chose the Commonwealth and USA every time. As I have said many times I feel I have much more in common with American, indians, Australians, Canadians New Zealanders, South Africans etc than I do with Europeans.

    AL URQA

    The answer is Leave because to me Leave means exactly that, control of our own borders, outside the customs union and the single market, no payments to the EU. Sorry I couldn’t restist either.

  48. JOHN B

    Your 6.02 to Candy.

    I agree with your apocalyptic view of the breakup of the EU and I also think it is inevitable at some point in the future. One of the many reasons why I want the UK long gone from that organisation.

  49. AL URQA

    …………….resist…..

    Sorry typo.

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