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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    I suspect the motives behind that particular poll so I do think bias and silly are very appropriate. I suspect this is an example of a poll which is trying to reinforce a Remainer agenda.

  2. John B

    I could have added to my list of people i have more in common with, most of the South and central American peoples as well. I have travelled very extensivly during my lifetime and there are relatively view areas of the World I have not visited during by flora and fauna trips

  3. @mrjones

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

    In this context is the EU all the governments of the member states, the entire European Council, the entirety of the European Commission, the European Parliament or all of them?

    And could you link to where the EU is “perfectly open” about this?

  4. John B

    ………..flora and fauna trips…………

    Must do this with my glasses on!

  5. John B

    Glasses now on, ………..during my flora and fauna trips……………..

  6. “…I have not visited during by flora and fauna trips”
    @The Other Howard December 17th, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    ‘my flora and fauna trips’

    I think I’ve found your reading glasses behind my sofa… :-)

  7. More from that Opinium poll 9via Britain Elects)
    On who would be the best Prime Minister:
    T. May: 42%
    J. Corbyn: 16%
    Neither: 28%

    Public approval ratings (Approve / Disapprove):
    May: 42 / 27
    Corbyn: 21 / 47
    Farron: 15 / 32
    Nuttall: 11 / 33
    Sturgeon: 26 / 38

    Westminster VI
    CON: 38% (-3)
    LAB: 31% (+2)
    UKIP: 13% (+1)
    LDEM: 6% (-1)
    GRN: 4% (-)

  8. AL URQA


  9. @ OLDNAT

    Everyone is telling the government what the result of Brexit must be, however the result will depend on 27 other countries agreeing to the terms.
    If we cannot agree to leave the negotiations to our government then our case will be weakened.

  10. OldEnglish

    I’m not sure which comment of mine that is a response to!

    I would, of course, love to have the negotiations conducted by “my” government, as well as the UK one that is all you guys have, but we’ll need to wait and see how “yours” responds to the proposals from “mine” on Tuesday, before there is any inkling of that. :-)

  11. OLDNAT
    Opinium tables now available

    Thanks for the XL link.

    Despite the tiny samples, the leader approval by home nation makes interesting reading:

    UK, Eng, Sco, Wal, NI, Leader
    +14%, +16%, -4%, +25%, +9%, May
    -27%, -27%, -31%, -21%, -24%, Corbyn
    -12%, -17%, +27%, -6%, +5%, Sturgeon
    -22%, -22%, -29%, -8%, -11%, Nuttall
    -18%, -19%, -9%, -16%, -13%, Farron

    The NI sample was only 55 individuals weighted down to 50 but interestingly has positive ratings for both May and Sturgeon, perhaps reflecting the political divide there.

  12. Barbazenzero

    Also interesting were the “Neither Approve/Disapprove” percentages (probably indicating genuine neutrality or “Who is she?”)

    NI 47% : Wal 46% : Eng 31% : Sco 16%

  13. @BZ
    Or maybe the Irish just like women? After all, Arlene Foster is First Minister.
    I’ve noticed posters on here seem to prefer the tortuous to the obvious.
    (Of course the obvious may be wrong, but I suggest it should be considered first.

  14. An interesting poll. On the face of it, May an asset to the Tories, Corbyn a monumental drag on Labour (in terms of their own popularity relative to support to their party).

    Can anyone find the net changes in leader popularity from Opinium’s last equivalent poll?

  15. Re the A50 case in Dublin, I just spotted the draft claim, presumably now with the court, here. It’s a 26 page PDF.

    For anyone still interested in the SC case, the FT had a good article on it last week-end by the legal blogger. Knowing some have had problems connecting to FT articles, I’ve put it on archive.is. See Five things we learnt from the Supreme Court Article 50 hearing.

  16. Barbazenzero

    Sorry – those were just the Sturgeon figures.

    For Corbyn they were NI 42% : Wal 37% : Eng 32% : Sco 27%, so they might be an indication of the salience of particular politicians in a polity.

  17. Dave

    “Of course the obvious may be wrong, but I suggest it should be considered first.”

    For May the Neither Approve/Disapprove numbers were NI 41% : Wal 32% : Eng 31% : Sco 26%

    So maybe the “obvious” is that those in NI have little interest in GB politicians of any colour?

  18. OLDNAT
    Also interesting were the “Neither Approve/Disapprove” percentages (probably indicating genuine neutrality or “Who is she?”)
    NI 47% : Wal 46% : Eng 31% : Sco 16%

    Agreed re “who is she”, but I’m not clear where your numbers come from. No “leader” seems to have those exact numbers. Is it a calculated mean for all of them?

  19. OLDNAT

    OK – should have refreshed before posting

  20. I can understand why some people see this Opinium poll as an outlier, but in the context of this polling company it isn’t really.Their previous poll in Mid-November showed a Tory lead of 12% and that is the only occasion they have come up with a double figure lead since May 2015. Two weeks earlier the Tory lead was just 8% and at the end of July it was as low as 6%.In that sense, there is a consistency in these figures.The final Opinium poll at the last election was a Tory lead of 1% – so they were at least as accurate – or inaccurate – as other pollsters. As it is the poll is implying almost no swing since the May 2015 election – given that the figures have been rounded!

  21. Graham

    You make an important point – that it only makes sense to compare a single poll with previous ones from the same pollster.

    In those far off days when UKPR posters discussed polling (and political matters only as they affected VI) that point hardly needed to be made.

    Now, it’s a very welcome reminder.

  22. On the face of it, a better poll for Labour, but looking at the underl!ing numbers and Opinium’s past polls, it would foolishly optimistic for Labour to take heart from this.

    Some of the issue polls look really serious for Labour (the economy, immigration) but the biggest lead for Cons is on terrorism. There really isn’t any reason why the government should be ahead of Labour on this issue except for Corbyn, and it’s going to be a major electoral problem for them.

    It also comes after the news of Corbyn appointing a former Sinn Feinn worker to his staff. She may or may not be a good choice from a technical perspective, but it shows once again the ease by which Corbyn manages to walk himself into a brick wall. It’s almost calculated to upset solid Labour people and gift the media another weapon to turn on him.

    He really just doesn’t have the simplest idea about how to do politics, and I’m sorry to say that the many idealists who strongly backed him signed Labour’s death warrant.

  23. Interesting Opinium results for LDems:
    The last four polls, all from different companies, have shown LDems +2, +3, +4 and now -1, and totals of 9,11,14 and now 6 respectively.

    Someone has it wrong…

  24. Alec

    “There really isn’t any reason why the government should be ahead of Labour on this issue except for Corbyn, and it’s going to be a major electoral problem for them. ”

    I’m not convinced that there is any evidential basis for your statement.

    Might be true, of course, though we all know your opinion of Corbyn, but is there actually any evidence to support you?

  25. Oldnat

    I think what Alec’s saying is that there’s nothing about Labour policy that is especially different or “weak” on terrorism, other than the background of Corbyn and some of his allies.

  26. Neil A

    Alec might be saying that, or something different – I have no idea.

    However, I seem to remember that the Tories in England have usually tended to have more support on Law and Order issues

    If that has changed, then it should be fairly easy to demonstrate that.

    As it happens, I think that appointing a former SF staffer was unwise. I can’t see what votes it might gain, though there are some that one can see it would lose. Whether the issue has any salience among voters would be the test.

  27. Neil A / Alec

    in any case, how many of the population think of “terrorism” in terms of the IRA nowadays, compared with “Islamists”,

    Probably a few more than associate the term with the Mau Mau – but how many more?

  28. Of course most people who arent already old and right-wing are far more concerned about Islamist terrorism, and isnt Corbyn cosying up to the biggest sponsors of violent fundamentalist islamism in the world, it’s May.

  29. (IT isn’t Corbyn, it’s May, is what I was trying to say!)

  30. Joe

    But since that isn’t the narrative that folk are given, it probably doesn’t affect VI very much either,

  31. OldNat

    It seems to me that there is no narrative what so ever really.

    Particularism has never been so strong as now in the last 70 years, so not surprisingly methodological individualism reigns (it is actually the epistemological issue (not necessarily true, by the way, but the arguments are built around it) around the reliability of polls).

    Now, without the choir of seeing the 1930s, this lack of narrative was dominant in Central-Europe towards the end of the 1920s :-)

    As long as Sea Change is wrong on the possibility of an early election, it is all fine – providing that the LP does something (they seem to be vaccinated against action).

  32. Or it could be that the public are sophisticated enough to know that dealing with Gulf states isn’t quite as simple as “good guys, bad guys” and would rather have a PM who hobnobs with dodgy people with the economic power to benefit the UK rather than dodgy people who don’t.

  33. Neil A

    “Or it could be ….” lots of things! Maybe people don’t much care about people elsewhere being terrorised?

    Maybe they don’t much care if its being done with weapons from the UK, as long as there’s a local economic benefit?

    It may also be the case that people are genuinely distressed to see human suffering on their TV screens, but not sufficiently as to investigate if they could affect it politically by voting one way or the other.

    Who knows? If there isn’t any polling evidence then we’re not much further forward.

  34. Laszlo

    I thought there was a long standing narrative in Central Europe (and elsewhere) about the Jews and the Romany, for example, long before the 1920s.

  35. Spain v Catalunya

    (tweet from Spanish journalist)

    “Latest poll: 85 % of Catalans want independence referendum. 50 % willing to do it unilaterally without agreement with Spain.”

    It always seemed to me that the UK Government was much cleverer than their Spanish counterparts in handling these damned autonomists! :-)

  36. OldNat

    A very interesting issue (that history is made from today).

    There was no real Jewish issue in Hungary until the 1880s (Tiszaeszlar really), although obviously it was latent. While the racism against the Roma has been present for a very long time, it wasn’t a social issue until the 1960s (I know that a huge number of Roma were murdered in the Endlosung, but it was completely different, it really didn’t have a narrative. The most horrible of it is what I heard from a survivor – “I was taken, because I was a Roma. Dad coughed, so he went to the right …”) – it was merely a bureaucratic box ticking. Yes, horrible, but true.

    What I tried to say, avoiding a too strong narrative, that the key point was then (1920s) not forcing, or reinforcing values, but blurring, weakening values (which then opened the way of enforcing them). There was no real narrative, apart some forbidden subjects, and some slogans that nobody believed in (like making Horthy’s bust of lard in a butcher shop).

  37. Laszlo

    The latency of an issue was what I was trying to suggest.

    It’s quite easy to then activate it as a dominant narrative (rather than just a sub-plot) by those for whom that would be advantageous.

    Exploiting latent prejudice is fairly easy to do – 1920s Scotland v Irish Catholics would be a similar example.

    Perhaps the real test of a “liberal democracy” is that none of the mainstream parties try to do so?

  38. A second referendum on EU membership makes little sense within the space of at least 20 years. However, a referendum on ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit does make sense and should be on the table as a realistic option. I believe most people would accept a status roughly equivalent to the pre-Maastricht EEC.

  39. S Thomas,
    “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.”

    I agree. But this might be an argument in favour of an election. Elections always allow the winner to claim a mandate, even though it is very likely a majority of voters oposed each and every policy it stood for. Politicians cling to this justification of their mandate because it is a way for public opposition to be portrayed as support.

    If the referendum result is to be overturned, which is what we are talking about, then it must be done either by the government of the day (could be parliament overriding the PM and ministers), or by a second referendum vote.

    The other Howard,
    ” A majority of 19% think May should be able to trigger Art.50 without a vote in Parliament”

    Don’t you somethimes despair for democracy?

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

    In the US trump also won despite 60% opposition, it isnt a uniquely US or Uk thing, but the fact that politicians can get office despite majority public opposition. As the percentage of actual support falls, the system becomes highly unstable and open to extremists. Trump and Brexit both benefitted from this effect. I am well aware the UK system can deliver a massive victory on 40% of the vote, but that is a criticism of the system, not a benefit. leave have claimed victory on 52% support, whereas the current electoral system says 60% opposing the conservative government should be ignored. Double standards?

  40. Danny

    “Don’t you somethimes despair for democracy?”

    Yes and No, we saw it working well in the EU referendum, but the post referendun attitude of many Remainers does make me worried about democracy in the UK.

    “Double standards?”

    I did understand the point you are making and no I don’t think that it is an example of double standards in operation. I am very happy with FPTP, it tends to produce stable covernments with reasonable majorities.

  41. Dez,
    ” Blair 97 to 2007 was the best period”

    I am reminded of the period around 1900, when the British Empire appared to be at its height, yet the cracks leading to its total destructions where already firmly in place.

    The Other Howard,
    ” I thimk the Tories will likely increase in the popularity stakes once Art. 50 is triggered”
    Depends on how things pan out. The problem is not declaring article 50 but the eventual outcome. In general though, I have seen nothing but decreasing commitment to political parties thoughout my lifetime.

    The government’s refusal to folow the proper procedure for triggering 50 has reduced its credibility, but it is fighting a rearguard action to avoid bigger mistakes, such as actually telling pople its position. It knows this will cause a loss of support, whenever it is finally forced to stop fence sitting on outcomes.

    John B,
    “Good to know that we’ve some friends south of the Border,”

    If there is a convergence of interest, might Scotland feel more at home as part of a federal state comprising Southern ireland, Northern ireland and Scotland? Ireland already being an EU member, this could resolve the Irish border issue and Scotland’s desire to be part oif the EU?

  42. This election is hotting up. It’s a big electorate-1.4 million.

    What do they really want in their leader?


  43. @Oldnat – @Neil A managed to divine what I meant, which I have to say I thought was really quite obvious.

    Whether it has salience is going to be an interesting point. My own belief is that very many people over the age of around 50 have strong memories of the revulsion at the Enniskillen bombing, which deliberately targeted a Remembrance Day service and was seen as horrific on a global scale. Younger people who may not necessarily have direct memories have also some learned attitudes to Irish nationalist terror.

    There are particularly strong folk memories in key Labour areas like Manchester and Birmingham, and the idea that the view of terrorism has now shifted to Islamic based attacks I would see as an oversimplification. As happened in the US after 9/11, when support for the provos collapsed once people understood what terror actually meant, today, Islamist terror helps remove some of the ‘romance’ from the armed struggle in Ireland. Any action that could be construed to be soft on terrorism, whatever the conflict, is now even more damaging.

    I think it’s also a fair point to make that asking for polling evidence to back this up is to miss the point. We already know the public has a very poor view of Corbyn on terrorism, and this can’t be based on any aspect of Labour’s record in office, when they were regularly criticised for being too draconian.

    This move gifts Labour’s opponents a great campaign weapon, but it is also very bad politic for another reason. Can you imagine Corbyn negotiating a parliamentary deal with unionists after a hung parliament after this?

    I just think we need to accept that Corbyn’s legacy from the 1980’s will lose Labour a lot of support, and unfortunately he isn’t bright enough to see that.

  44. Prediction

    Dan Jarvis to to be Labour leader by September 2017, after Corbyn decides to resign in the Summer.

    Boris Johnson to be Tory leader and PM by September 2017, as Theresa May is subject to leadership contest supported by many leave supporters on backbenches, as well as some who are pro remain.

    General Election possibly late October 2017, early November 2017.

  45. Danny
    “” A majority of 19% think May should be able to trigger Art.50 without a vote in Parliament”
    Don’t you sometimes despair for democracy?”

    Why would it be undemocratic for a majority to grant their government powers to act swiftly in certain circumstances? In the case of Brexit, to act in line with how the majority voted in the referendum.
    Perhaps the Queen should write to the EU Council: “My subjects have decided, and my Ministers concur, that …”

  46. @DAVE 10.15am

    Your post is clear evidence of the referendum process being flawed, as it was never explained what would happen if leave won.

    The act of Parliament which authorised the referendum was not binding on Government or Parliament. It was simply an enabling act for the referendum to take place.

    There have been suggestions by some that Parliament were delegating the decision to the British people in the referendum and therefore it is simply up to Government using Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50. But this forgets that the act of Parliament for the referendum never authorised Government to proceed with Article 50 and to leave the EU after 2 years, if they could not revoke the Article 50 application.

    The referendum never mentioned what version of Brexit was going to be negotiated with the EU. Some people believe, leave means total withdrawal from the EU, customs union, single market, ECJ and after leaving you might decide to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. Others who campaigned for leave had a different opinion, which is why there was a by-election in Sleaford, as the MP who resigned did not agree with a hard Brexit.

    You cannot trigger Article 50 using RP, enter into an irrevocable process and expect Parliament to just agree to what Government has decided. That is not a democratic process. We elect 650 MP’s to fully debate all the issues and decide how the Government of the day is allowed to proceed for the whole of the UK. We have not replaced our normal democratic process with a referendum and a Government just doing what they want.

  47. R HUCKLE “We have not replaced our normal democratic process with a referendum and a Government just doing what they want.”
    I quite agree. We have not done that. But my question was “How would that be undemocratic if we did?”

    Q. was “Why would it be undemocratic for a majority to grant their government powers to act swiftly in certain circumstances? ”
    Mechanism might be through a binding referendum set up by Act of Parliament.

    On a different point:

    While you may be legally correct about the present constitutional restrictions on the Royal Prerogative (the Supreme Court has yet to rule on whether the Royal Prerogative is a valid mechanism of notification – and if it does so by a single vote majority, then more judges will have thought it isn’t, ho, ho), there is no doubt that those voting (on both sides) were led to believe that they were making the decision.
    Government publication: first words
    BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36584905 see Question 2.
    The vote was simply Leave or Remain. The various political parties now concede that we have so decided (though not what the result of that decision might ultimately look like.)
    “Article 50″
    1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”
    I suggest that our constitutional requirements have been met.
    It then needs
    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.” (no mention of any restriction by constitutional requirements or otherwise on how that shall be done.).
    Noting the publicity given to the result of the Referendum, and the prior statements on the websites above, it could even be argued that notice was given when the result of the referendum was publicly announced.

  48. @DAVE

    Simply put, the UK democratic process is legally constituted via our United Kingdom Parliament.

    Government has no power, unless it is given to them by Parliament.

    Royal Prerogative is purely a reserve power in certain areas, where it is not practical to involve Parliament. E.g there might be an urgent need for UK Armed Forces to act for the security of UK interests. However, if there was any prolonged UK military action, Government would need to seek Parliamentary approval, particularly a money resolution. This is why the Goverment front bench is called the Treasury bench. It is where the Government seeks approval for its tax and spend policies. Brexit has massive implications for Treasury issues and therefore Brexit is a Parliament decision process, not something for RP to be used.

  49. Alec

    You miss my point. My criticism of your post was your certainty that “There really isn’t any reason why the government should be ahead of Labour on this issue [terrorism] except for Corbyn” – for which you provide no justification.

    Indeed, the tables provide no evidence that the issue of terrorism favours the Tories to the great extent that you imply in the population as a whole.

    Only a quarter of the sample selected terrorism as an issue, and (not unusually) these were mostly people supporting parties on the right.

    The VI of these people was Con 37% : Lab 17% : UKIP 15% : LD 3%.

    89% of those with Con VI thought Con would deal with the issue best.
    45% of those with Lab VI thought Lab would deal with the issue best.
    46% of those with UKIP VI thought UKIP would deal with the issue best.

    So it looks like you have been extrapolating from a self-selecting sample, with an inbuilt bias, to create a castle in the air, floating on the clouds of your own assumptions.

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