Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has topline figures of CON 40%(-1), LAB 44%(+2), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 2%(-1). Fieldwork was over the weekend and changes are from July.

Leader satisfaction ratings are May minus 17, Corbyn minus 3 and Cable minus 1. While Vince Cable has the least negative net rating, this is because he has far higher don’t knows than the other two leaders (39% compared to 10%) rather than any great surge of “pro-Vince” feeling. MORI also asked some more detailed questions about perceptions of the leaders’ qualities, underlining the collapse in perceptions of May’s and the rehabilitation of Jeremy Corbyn since last year. In September 2016 Theresa May had better ratings on almost everything (the sole exception was being marginally more likely to be seen as more style than substance). Now there are obvious areas where the two leaders outshine each other – May is still more likely to be seen as a capable leader, good in a crisis (though her leads are vastly reduced – in 2016 she beat Corbyn by 44 points on being a capable leader, now it’s only 7 points), but Corbyn now has strong leads on personality and honesty, and is much less likely to be seen as out of touch.

MORI also repeated their regular question comparing the popularity of leaders and their parties – do respondents like the leader and party, the leader but not their party, the party but not its leader, or neither of them? 46% of people said they liked Jeremy Corbyn (up 9 since last year), putting him eight points behind Labour on 54% (up 8) – that means both Corbyn and Labour have become more popular, but Corbyn continues to be less popular than his party. Compare this with the Conservatives: a year ago Theresa May vastly outshone her party, by 60% to 38%. That gap has now vanished – the Conservative party is still only liked by 38%, but Theresa May is now on the same figure, down by 22 points (At the risk of pointing out the obvious, note how much stronger the Labour brand remains than the Conservative party – while they may not vote for them, most people have a broadly positive perception of the Labour party, far more than can be said for the Tories). Full tabs are here

There was also a poll by Opinium at the weekend, which had movement in the opposition direction. Their topline figures were CON 41%(+1), LAB 41%(-2), LDEM 5%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1). Looking at the broader picture, the polls still appear to be clustered around a very small lead for the Labour party. Tabs for Opinium are here.

308 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 44, LDEM 9”

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  1. Barbazenzero

    Mrs May’s speech in Florence said little about the rights of EU citizen’s living here. The leaked draft of the Home Office says more about the direction of travel of this policy.


    If this is UK policy it will stand in the way of moving forward into the second phase of discussions.

  2. May Balls

    Well TM has dodged a bullet. Probably because of the Boris re-wriitng.she has achieved the enviable position of being mildly criticised by Both Leavers and Remainers and damned with faint praise by EU leaders and all her cabinet are signed up to it.
    She will not now face any leadership challenge and has probably increased the length of the perception of her leadership from 2019 to 2021.This in turn increases her power. The conference will also now be positive so another hurdle overcome. And whispering quietly she does not seem as weak at the end of this week as she did at the beginning.
    Of course if she lives in the real world she will know that when the dry ice subsides nothing has changed with the EU.They are not negotiating and will not move to trade talks unless we offer to pay about £60 bn to them . Anything less than that will be regarded as a barnier failure The UK must decide whether it is going to pay it or not.If it is, then it is better to make the grand gesture now and take the political hit and move on to the trade talks. Better that than be dragged kicking and screaming to that position and be humiliated.
    If we are not going to pay it then tell the EU that we are not going to pay it and confront them with the prospect of no deal.Not adopting one course or another is just wasting time.
    It is time we set deadlines and have certainty and stop acting like a supplicant at the court of Barnier.

  3. For HIRETON – https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2014/december/tradoc_152982.pdf

    It’s kind of an exec summary, lots of propo on areas that were already liberated or with very low WTO tariffs, but you’ll see various protectionism for certain continental industries.

    The clincher for me was summarised in this part
    “As regards financial services, Canada guarantees to EU financial service providers that its existing framework will NOT BECOME MORE RESTRICTIVE with regard to the provision of cross- border insurance, reinsurance and intermediation, as well as portfolio management services. Furthermore, Canada has taken commitments regarding its “widely held” regime so that EU investors CAN CONTINUE to control their investments in financial institutions in Canada, reflecting and guaranteeing the continuation of existing Canadian practice.
    (empahsis added)

    So, no further opening up services. Simply keep it the same. Really looked out for the UK’s interests! The current UK-EU deal is similar (slow liberation of services).

    You might also remember one of Canada’s sticking points was the visas for some E.Europe nations. I won’t expand on that point other than to say we clearly wouldn’t have had that issue if we’d struck our own deal.

  4. Yes John,

    The differences between the 2 current front bench positions is the final end-point not the interim position in itself which as I say above are the same except Labour’s 3 years in stead of 2 I think.

    That could have been agreed on a cross-party basis last autumn or at the latest earlier this year and we could have been 6 months of more further on with the final negotiations.

    Arguably, the irony is that in not understanding this senior Tory Brexiteers (and I exclude Davis from this) have delayed the whole process by at least 6 months and therefore getting to a final settlement. Not the actual technical leaving date of course which will still be March 2019; even if we are pseudo members during the interim phase.

    NB) In this analysis, the alleged unnecessary delay is in part what enables Labour to call for 3 years which is really a device to be able to say it should have only been 2 but the Government have wasted a year.

    My understanding is that Labour expect an extension to the 2 years or at least would not be surprised if an extension was needed which would take us up to the 5 years of this Government should it last the distance.

    The final deal and whether the Tories have done a good job and a judgement about what Labour may have achieved together with a divide about where we go from here (the 2022 position) would be would be a major part the GE campaign almost certainly under new leaders of the 3 UK wide parties (and NS may have had enough by then as well)

  5. In reponse, M Barnier has simply repeated the EU position and asked for more clarity from the UK. In essence no advance on the three phase one topics was made by Mrs May in Florence. The only advance it seems was a more conciliatory approach.

    “Our priority is to protect the rights of citizens. EU27 citizens in the United Kingdom must have the same rights as British citizens today in the European Union. These rights must be implemented effectively and safeguarded in the same way in the United Kingdom as in the European Union, as recalled by the European Council and European Parliament. Prime Minister May’s statements are a step forward but they must now be translated into a precise negotiating position of the UK government.”


  6. may balls (2)
    My tactic would be to cancel the september talks.Put Barnier under pressure. No negotiations would be regarded as a barnier failure.

  7. Quiet from the right press, DUP like it, Soubs likes it. Smogg only one I’ve seen upset but he’s not going to vote down his own party over it.

    EU response also tamer than expected?

    Maybe my expectation were too low?

  8. @ S THOMAS – that comes if we don’t get “sufficient progress” approval in EU Council meeting 20-21Oct perhaps?

    DD needs to put May’s speech into a position paper for this meeting. If Barnier says no to sufficient progress then play the walk-away card.

    Also it would be good to have the Repeal Bill passed before we play our only remaining card.

  9. However, the EU will be looking for early evidence whether the Florence speech was a load of waffle or an indication that the UK negotiating position will be revealed. I doubt if there will be enough common ground to advance the talks.

    “David Davis and I will meet in Brussels next Monday to begin the fourth round of the negotiations. As always, we are preparing the upcoming round with the 27 Member States and the European Parliament. On Monday I will have a discussion with the European Parliament in its Brexit Steering Group, as well as with all Member States in the General Affairs Council.

    We look forward to the United Kingdom’s negotiators explaining the concrete implications of Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech. Our ambition is to find a rapid agreement on the conditions of the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal, as well as on a possible transition period.”

  10. trevorWarne
    I agree about the Repeal bill point and i posted on the subject yesterday. I would like to think that it was a thought about tactic but i am unsure about the ability of our politcians.

    There is no way we will be deemed to have made sufficient progress.As i posted earlier either pay the 60bn or dont . There is no halfway house. Personally i dont care which as long as a decision is made.

  11. It will be interesting whether Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn are given harsher treatment by the media at the party conferences. At the moment the spotlight is on the Tories due to Brexit and it would take a major controversy to move it onto Labour.

    Theresa May is going to face leadership contest speculation, whereas Corbyn is looking quite secure.

    I cannot see any change in polling for Tories or Labour for quite some time, but UKIP might pick up a little afters Mays speech.

  12. I can’t see how May’s speech gives any cover to the UK to play hardball with the EU over their three pre-conditions: ‘divorce bill’, NI border and rights of EU citizens, as it says nothing about two of these topics and very little about the third.

    All she has done is kick the can down the road for two years – sensible, and what many Remainers and soft Leavers have been saying is necessary since the week after the referendum, but hardly revolutionary.

    We still have no idea on the destination to which the Tory Government would like to take the UK, we only know two things:
    – that it not one of the destinations on the existing map (Norway, Swiss, Canada, WTO) and
    – that they can’t even agree between themselves.

    Shambles is too polite a word for it…

  13. @ S THOMAS – agree but the risk in walking (not paying) is that govt then falls, LAB walk in (quite likely needing SNP C+S) and they sign us up to EEA for perpetuity with 60bn+ price tag and dump all the blame (with fair justification) on CON. Regardless of LAB/CON partisan views that would be horrific for the long-term future of UK. Big win for SNP (assuming they are in C+S with LAB or needed if/when any LAB rebel) and EU.

    I’ll add a further date – passing the budget on 22Nov.

    I chatted with TOH about this before. I think we concluded it would be foolish to threaten walk-away before Spring’18.

    I agree the bill is not the main issue, the future arrangement is the critical part. If we offer them something that they shouldn’t refuse but then they do refuse, then I hope we take the message. The timing is critical after May’s GE disaster left the govt so fragile to being kicked out. I think LAB are bluffing about being govt in waiting but I hope we don’t get to find out.

  14. Nothing much has changed in the UK government position on Brexit since the Lancaster House speech. The major change is the necessity for a transition period. Nothing can change until the Cons resolve, if that is possible, the internal divisions over Brexit. Mrs May seems, for now, incapable of resolving those divisions and it is probable that no other PM in her position could do it.

    There is an absence of realism over what can be achieved in negotiations with the EU. The “have your cake and eat it” mentality is still there.

  15. Old Nat 12.05 a.m.

    I don’t think May is an idiot, just ignorant about some issues – e.g. the diversity which exists within the UK.

    However, for the rest: 100% agreement, FWIW.

    I think May is trying to do the impossible, but that was her choice when she stood to be leader of the Conservative Party. Europe will destroy her as it has destroyed the previous three Conservative premierships.

    I’m trying to stay out of all this Brexit discussion as much as possible. There seems to be no wish on the part of the Brexiteers to listen to anything which comes from the side of those of us who think it is a bad move; and as for the insults which are launched daily at those from the EU who are merely asking that the negotiations be conducted in a sensible manner, it just sounds day after day like screaming kids throwing their toys out of the pram. Not very edifying (and for ToH I add ‘IMO’).

    Have a pleasant day, whilst you can. :-)

  16. https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/22/theresa-may-speech-brexit-prime-minister-florence

    Excellent funny article which sums up the Tories position on Brexit very well.

  17. In relation to what was sought in the European Union – the avoidance of warfare and the creation of trading and economic stability and eradication of poverty, how much is paid for exit is of secondary significance and meaninglless in public debate. It depends on what a payment achieves in retaining those benefits and their make-up in terms of trade, securi and movement of labour scientific collaboration in economic stability and growth. Retention of open movement and the absence of a physical border between N.I. and Ireland is a given. The rights of stay and citizenship of EU Nationals in the UK and vice versa is a moral obligation of both the UKand the EU towards their citizens and should never have been open to negotiation.
    That being the case, these pre-requisites to agreeement over the continued basis of trade should rapidly have been negotiated off the table. What is left is May’s “Treaty” or Starmer’saccess to the Single Market, in which the structure is secondary and negotiable.

  18. So, as I understand it, Little Nell has creturned from delivering her gracious speech to find that while Bozza is still sedated and safely under heavy guard, Moggzilla has awoken and is grumbling at the townsfolk anew. Dr Davis is looking into a beaker of water with food colouring in, hoping that he can persuade the dim hero and his love interest that together they can use it to save the world. Meanwhile, Professors Barnier and Verhofstad, the Waldorf and Statler of the enemy’s crack negotiating team

  19. … channel Oscar Wilde at the news that it’s still not looking good for our Nell


    I am not expecting the UK to get a Swiss style deal because the EU and Council Of Ministers have said they would never do suh a deal ever again. the deal is a myriad of individual sector by sector deals.

    So we are left with to types of deal a CETA type deal or a EEA type deal. The issue of services is one which will repliated across the globe. No one want a third party for example messing with debt creation in the manner that we have with personal debt for example or the issues of third parties messing with the banking system and the like. the GFE has made the issue tough to crack since US and UK have dominant financial industries. But we need to be clear the Deutsche bank suffered the same issues as did the french banks and I would have thought that financial expansion would be limited. The other service industries in the UK such media and film and the like will have no trouble so we should distinguish them from financial engineering.

    The point that you place no deal ahead of CETA type deal when the UK is going to accept a CETA type deal with tweaks kind of says that the problem is not with the EU but the UK view of it’s exceptionalism everyone gains with CETA and I personally believe the issue is not future trade but payments and obligations. The UK cannot get past that and the only way it seems that we could get past that is by linking them together somehow.

  21. s thomas: My tactic would be to cancel the september talks.Put Barnier under pressure. No negotiations would be regarded as a barnier failure.

    This is seriously deluded. If UK cancels September talks, this will render the opening of the Florence speech specifically and the whole of the rest of the speech consequentially as entirely empty words. Barnier will just report in October that actions subsequent to the Florence speech have been in contradiction and recommend not commencing phase 2 talks. And anything the UK says subsequently will be devoid of credibility with the EU.

    In the whole rest of the world this will be seen as a continuation of the UK’s barmy brexit farce. In the UK, remainers will totally agree. Only the frothing at the mouth leavers would regard it as Barnier’s failure.

  22. Interesting survey

    Reported on BBc online.

    Those with above and much above average political knowledge voted tory in 2017.
    Those with average, below average and very much below average voted labour

    Hmmmm……now some of the posts are becoming clear to me :-)

  23. S.Thomas your 11.04
    JimJam your 11.16
    Both correct in my view. We will have left the EU in 2019 as planned. As S Thomas says, happy days.

  24. JOHN B

    A pleasant day to you to John. I am very happy with things so far as we still leave in 2019 as planned.

  25. The key is the definition of political knowledge.

    My guess is that coal-face first hand experience of the impact of austerity which arguably delivered Labour more votes than anything else would not be deemed political knowledge but knowing the names of some politicians and/or other facts is.

  26. S THOMAS

    @”My tactic would be to cancel the september talks.Put Barnier under pressure. No negotiations would be regarded as a barnier failure.”

    I think May’s speech was designed to put Barnier under pressure. Broadly conciliatory-Its Me not You-hope you make a success of things-we want to be pals-we’ll still chip in to the old Budget……………

    If that doesn’t elicit a response in kind-I agree with you that the whole thing looks hopeless.

    To me the Barnier approach is very EU-process is everything. If it isn’t written down somewhere in the Brussels Rule Book-we cant do it. I have thought from the start that this culture gap looked very worrying.

  27. S Thomas

    “Hmmmm……now some of the posts are becoming clear to me :-)”

    Yes indeed! :-)

  28. monchrome october

    I agree. i might have been a trifle rash. Too much sugar on my frosties.

  29. By way of balance we usually here this nonsense from those on the left.

    ‘Leave only won due to numpty ill-informed voters.
    Trump the same’
    Voters Duped blah blah!.

    Patronising nonsense vote is a vote and has equal merit whoever cats it and for whatever reason.

  30. Even from people like me who can’t type very well!!

  31. @ PTRP – We wouldn’t be enterting a Swiss+ deal from scratch. We currently meet all EU law, regulations, etc. The concept of Swiss deal is to vuluntary accept NEW law, regulations, etc. The + signs signify tweaks (e.g. Pay less, minor tweak on free movement, clearer removal from CET, etc.)

    You could argue same for a Canada style deal. Photocopy large chunks, tweak parts.

    i could be easily persuaded to put Canada above no deal – a no deal would not be nothing and walk and negotiate from outside would probably end up with similar long term outcome (just cheaper!)

  32. If the “political knowledge” survey was asking questions about weather people knew who ted heath and harold wilson were and what was the westland helicopter scandal – then older respondents will do much better – ergo more likely to vote tory and brexit.
    I understood that the higher level of education you had meant you were more likely to vote leave/ABT etc.

  33. @JimJam
    I haven’t seen anyone claiming either of those things since a few weeks after the referendum.

    I am personally concerned, and I see it reflected in other comments, that the coalition of interests behind both Brexit and Trump encompasses fundamentally irreconcilable philosophies and aims that will frustrate the ability of either to agree on a destination or a method of getting there.

    I think this concern is evidenced by the inability of the GOP in the US to deliver any meaningful positive part of its manifesto, as well as the total inability of the Tory government here to agree internally on what the Brexit end-state looks like.

    Both Brexit campaigns were shockingly mendacious – however Leave won and have to deliver. Similarly both US presidential campaigns were exceptionally poor, but Trump/GOP won and have to deliver.

    Therefore a concern about both the abilities and the intentions of both Leave/Tories and Trump/GOP is pretty rational, wouldn’t you agree?

  34. RSJ
    It’s a construction industry reference
    Rigid Steel Joist

  35. S Thomas/TOH,

    How quaint and indeed revealing.

    After months of you both, with others, frothing at the mouth and spitting fury every time someone dared to suggest a connection between higher levels of Education, Knowledge or Intelligence and voting remain, suddenly, when something suggests that your side might be smarter you preen yourselves like spoilt cats.


  36. s thomas:

    My tactic would be to cancel the september talks.Put Barnier under pressure. No negotiations would be regarded as a barnier failure….

    I do normally and sincerely look forward to your posts even if I disagree, but is this a serious comment?


    Thanks Peter, yes it makes a pleasant change and long overdue.

  38. Alternatively, cancelling the negotiations could be seen as the petulant Brits admitting that they have absolutely nothing worthwhile to bring to the discussions.

    About the only pressure this would put on Barnier is trying to resist the temptation to roll his eyes as he watches the British lemmings stamping off with their under inflated ball, before walking calmly over to the EU’s well-stocked cupboard to fetch a nice shiny new one in advance of the 27 simply getting on with their own business

  39. TOH,

    “Thanks Peter, yes it makes a pleasant change and long overdue.”

    There is never anything pleasant about hypocrisy.
    Attacking suggests that your side might be less capable while lauding the opposite shows that what matters to you isn’t the facts that guide the outcome but picking the facts that suit your outcome.

    That’s why your largely a waste of space, between your alternate Smugness and Righteous Indignation there’s not a lot going on.


  40. BFR,

    Of course it is reasonable to have concerns about the intentions and abilities of victors in Elections that is normal.

    YOu are probably right there no longer being many statements about leave only winning due to the ill-informed; my intention was to point out the equal invalidity of such notions and that of the politically knowledgeable (however that is measured?) being more likely to have voted Tory.

    Of course S Thomas’ post should have said broke Tory and broke labour rather than implying mass voting by the categories quoted but I am sure the false implication was unintended and that readers here know what it really meant.

  41. balbs

    Yes, i was eating frosties at the time and i can only put it down to a sugar rush.
    As i said in an earlier post I may have been a little rash. But my deep and longstanding dislike of Barnier sometimes gets the better of me.

  42. Peter,

    I took ToH to be enjoying to opportunity for a touch or mirth and was not taking the report seriously as he has history of debunking such notions in the way I have.


    Yes elderly Brexiteers May have died off but more middle aged people will have moved into the elderly category and may have switched from Remain to Brexit. I just don’t see it making any real difference.

    I wouldn’t be so sure on that. My wife was born in late 1949 and was one of the last females to qualify for the OAP at 60. All females born in 1950 or later and males from about 1955 [a guess as the changed starting age had no impact on me] will have had a significantly worse deal from their NI contributions.

    A few of them will have gained from the Thatcher years and they will mainly be hard-core Cons but the many won’t. The Lab 1945-51 government undoubtedly helped us oldies to have healthier childhoods [in part due to rationing and in part due to the NHS] and the subsequent consensus [which even Thatcher didn’t challenge] on paying pensions from current taxation. But my generation is clearly starting to shuffle off.

    All but the wealthiest group born post 1950 have had significantly fewer “goodies” from the state than we did. They will not remember Suez but will be well aware of the problems of the Heath government and most will have voted in the EEC referendum.

  44. JIMJAM

    Peter hasn’t got a sense of humour it appears. :-)

  45. I am genuinely interested to understand why those in favour of leaving believe that walking out of the discussions would put any pressure on the EU. Assume for a moment, or forever if you prefer, that I have no understanding or experience of politics, and might even be a robot alien with small enough intelligence to fit the description of those attracted to the left described above. Assume also that my belief that leavers never respond to requests for evidence based answers to questions since they have no facts to fall back on. OK, what specific pressure would walking out of talks put on the EU?

  46. As predicted, the EU have no interest in May’s platitudinous posturing. The only thing they are interested in is what is brought ot the negotiating table.

    A key point though is that there have been strong indications that a 2year+ transitional phase will not be available unless agreement on the exit terms has been reached. The EU have been unerringly consistent that this needs to be resolved first, and the UK government have been unerringly useless in addressing those ssues.

    It’s almost as if May and Co don’t realise that PR and vacuous slogans don’t work when it come to thrashing ou the details.

    A key stage will be when (not if) there is no move to the next phase of the talks due to insufficient progress. The fact of the crisis (which is what t will be) will very likely have an impact on the public mood, but in what direction? I’m sure the Brexit press and the frothing-at-the-mouth tendency will try to lay the blame at the door of Barnier and co, but will those who are not committed Brexiters buy it?


    “OK, what specific pressure would walking out of talks put on the EU?”

    If we leave with no deal there will be economic damage to both the UK and the EU. German car manufacturers see this and want the talks to move on.

  48. TOH

    Well he is Scottish-and SNP. Pretty much excludes the basic mechanisms for humour :-)

  49. @COLIN

    Barnier may to some extent find it more difficult to be flexible if he wished given EU process considerations but I don’t think that’s relevant at present.

    What I see increasingly is either side adopting one of the archetypal non- negotiating negotiation positions.

    The UK keeps throwing in new positions that it knows will be rejected. The EU prefers the we declared our position take it or leave it approach.

    Neither posture is capable of leading to meaningful negotiation. This may be because one, other or both sides are not in reality interested in meaningful negotiation or because they’re just playing to the gallery for now. Time will tell I guess.

  50. A very interesting reading of the May speech :-


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