Earlier on today Ipsos MORI published their monthly poll for the Standard. Topline referendum figures were REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 37%, Don’t know or won’t vote 8%. This is the largest lead we’ve seen for Remain yet, but normal caveats apply – never get too excited about a single poll showing an unusual result. The ORB poll in the week also showed movement towards Remain, as did YouGov this morning… but the last TNS and ICM polls showed movement in the opposite direction, so there is no consistent trend.

Two interesting things about the MORI data. One is that the sheer size of the lead is down to the “squeeze question”, the question asked to those people who initially said don’t know asking which way they are most inclined to vote. Those people split 50%-14% in favour of remain, turning a 13 point lead for Remain into an 18 point lead.

The other thing is the Tories. Conservative voters in the sample split almost 2-to-1 in favour of Remain. Conservatives splitting in favour of remaining is not necessarily remarkable (the ORB and ICM telephone polls this week had the same), but the size of the Tory lead among Tory voters seems remarkable.

Meanwhile general election voting intention stands at CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%. Full details are here.

With a week to go until the Scottish Parliament elections Ipsos MORI have published their latest Scottish voting intention figures. Topline figures are

Holyrood constituency vote: SNP 51%, LAB 19%, CON 18%, LDEM 6%
Holyrood regional vote: SNP 45%, CON 19%, LAB 17%, GRN 10%, LDEM 7%

The SNP are, obviously, set for another landslide win. The more surprising finding is that the Conservatives are in second place in the regional vote, which would likely leave them with the second largest number of MSPs. YouGov’s online polling has been showing a tight race between Conservative and Labour for second place for a while, but this is the first time MORI’s Scottish phone polling has shown the Scottish Tories catching Labour. Full details are here.

On the second day of the junior doctors strike, I should also update on public support for their action. MORI and YouGov have both released new data over the last two days, and both of them showed a majority of people continued to support the strike action. The MORI poll for the BBC found 57% of people supported the strike, 26% opposed (details here), YouGov for the Times found 53% thought strike action was right, 29% wrong (full details here).


MORI have published their monthly political monitor – full details are here. The topline voting intention figures are CON 38%(+2), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 6%(-4), UKIP 11%(nc), GRN 3%(nc). The Conservatives retain a narrow lead, but not significantly different from last month.

Referendum voting intention stands at REMAIN 49%(nc), LEAVE 39%(-2), DK 12%(+2). MORI also asked an unprompted question on what the most important issues were in deciding how people would vote in the EU referendum. Overall the impact on the economy (32%) and immigration (27%) came top, but there was a sharp contrast between remain and leave voters. Among those who want to remain 40% named the economy, followed by jobs (15%), trade (14%) and immigration (14%). Among those who want to leave 47% named immigration, followed by making our own laws (25%), the economy (21%) and the impact of immigration on the welfare state (20%).

Ipsos MORI have released the EU referendum figures from their monthly political monitor. Topline figures are REMAIN 49%, LEAVE 41%, DK/WNV 10%. Full details are here

There are quite a few differences in how MORI asked the question this month. Up until now they’ve been asking the referendum question using a split sample, with half the sample getting their long term tracker on if Britain should leave the EU, and half getting the actual referendum question, without any squeeze question or similar. This month they’ve switched onto a referendum footing – the only question is now the referendum question mentioning the date, and there’s a squeeze question to people who say they don’t know yet. This means that, while these figures are considerably tighter than MORI’s previous polling (last month they gave REMAIN an 18 point lead) we can’t tell to what extent there’s been a shift in opinion, and to what extent it’s down to asking the question differently.

MORI also asked how likely people were to vote in the referendum. At present they are not factoring this into their topline figures and are still looking into the best way to do it, but if they used the same approach as they do with their general election polling it would have reduced the REMAIN lead to just two points.

It’s worth noting that the big gulf between telephone and online polls on the EU referendum has narrowed significantly. In December and January the average REMAIN lead in telephone poll was twenty points, the average lead in online polls was zero; a towering gulf between the two modes. Polls this month have averaged a 2 point REMAIN lead in online polls, a 6 point REMAIN lead in phone polls. Even excluding the ORB phone poll that seemed completely out of line with all other telephone polls, the average of ComRes, MORI and Survation was 9 points. There’s still a significant contrast between online and phone polls on the topic… but a gap of seven points is far, far less of a gulf than a gap of twenty points!

UPDATE: I’ve corrected the original post – MORI are NOT prompting for “Undecided”, it’s still something respondents have to volunteer themselves. The increase in don’t knows is suddenly not so easily explained. Perhaps it’s the effect of mentioning that the referendum isn’t until June that’s making people more willing to say they haven’t decided yet.

Ipsos MORI’s monthly poll for the Evening Standard follows the trend we’ve seen in other recent polls of a tightening gap between Conservative and Labour. Topline figures are CON 36%(-3), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 3%.

They also echo YouGov’s recent polling in showing strongly negative figures for George Osborne. Just after IDS’s resignation YouGov found Osborne’s ratings dropping to 17% good job, 58% bad job. MORI find very similar in their poll: before the budget they had Osborne’s net approval rating at minus 6, now it has slumped to minus 33 (27% satisfied, 60% disatisfied). The budget gets a solid thumbs down in the MORI poll, 53% think it is bad for the country, 30% good for the country.

There was also new ComRes EU referendum poll yesterday, conducted for ITV. Topline voting intention figures were REMAIN 48%, LEAVE 41%, Don’t know 11%. The seven point lead for remain is the smallest ComRes have so far shown in their telephone polls on the referendum (indeed, apart from the unusual ORB poll earlier this month it’s the lowest lead any telephone poll has shown for Remain). Full details are here. It will be interesting to see what the EU voting intention figures are in the MORI poll, and whether that big gulf between online and telephone EU polling is narrowing a little.