The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%(+1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1), GRN 7%. Labour and the Conservatives are equal on 33, the first MORI poll since last November not to show a Labour lead. All the usual caveats apply – it’s just one poll, so in isolation is not any more meaningful than the ICM poll earlier this week showing a seven point Labour lead, it’s the wider trend that counts. Full tabs are here.

There’s a slight methodological tweak in this month’s poll – for the first time MORI conducted a proportion (20%) of the interviews via mobile phone. Past testing by MORI over the last five months suggests this doesn’t actually make any difference to the final figures, but it avoids a potential future risk.

MORI also had a batch of “how would you vote if X was leader” questions, to which I’ll add my normal note of caution. People are rubbish at answering hypothetical questions at the best of times, and here we are expecting people to say how they’d vote with X as party leader when they don’t know what direction X would set for the party, what their policies and priorities would be, how the media would react to them in the reality of leadership and so on.

Asked how they would vote with Boris as Conservative leader, there would be a five point Conservative lead, with Theresa May as leader there would be a 4 point Labour lead, with George Osborne as leader a 9 point Labour lead. Two extra caveats – there wasn’t a control question asking about current leaders, and these figures are not filtered by likelihood to vote in the way MORI’s main question is. The May v Osborne v Johnson questions are all exactly comparable, though Boris is undoubtedly flattered by being the best known, but some of the difference between this and the standard voting intention will be down to the effect of mentioning Miliband & Clegg in the question. As ever, hypothetical leadership questions are a bit of fun, they are unlikely to have any real predictive ability, so please don’t read too much into them.


Tonight is the long awaited Scottish debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. STV released their latest Ipsos MORI at the start of the debate – topline figures there are YES 40%(+4), NO 54%(nc), don’t knows just 6%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 42%(+2), NO 58%(-2).

MORI tend to be one of those pollsters who show more favourable figures for the NO campaign, so by their standards its a favourable poll for YES. Then again, if MORI are right, then a sixteen point lead for NO is still a a big gap to close with only six weeks to go.

Following the debate the only instant poll I’m aware of is ICM for the Guardian, due to go out about 9.40 (results will hopefully be before ten, but it obviously depends on how quickly people respond!)

UPDATE: ICM’s instant poll crowns Darling the winner – 56% for Darling, 44% for Alex Salmond. The figures are, incidentally, very close to the sort of NO/YES figures ICM report in referendum voting intentions. We’ll know properly when we see ICM’s tables, but I suspect we may find that people who were voting YES anyway thought Salmond won, people who were voting NO anyway thought Darling won.

UPDATE2: Full figures including don’t knows were Darling 47%, Salmond 37%, Don’t Know 15%. Sample size was 512.

UPDATE3: Tabs are here. People’s perceptions of who won were, as suspected, largely in line with their pre-existing dispositions towards independence, though not entirely. Amongst people who were voting NO before the debate people thought Darling won by 83% to 6%. Amongst pre-debate YES voters people thought Salmond won by 72% to 16%. Amongst people who said they were don’t knows, Salmond was slightly ahead – 44% to 36% (albeit, there were only 63 don’t knows, so we’re talking about the difference of 4 or 5 people). Bottom line is that there was no big knockout blow here – the large majority of both sides thought their own “champion” won, don’t knows were pretty evenly split.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Standard is out this lunchtime, with topline figures of CON 32%(+1), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2), GRN 8%(nc). No significant change on a month ago, though the UKIP decline from their immediate post-European election bounce is in line with other companies. Full details here.

The vast majority of the poll was conducted prior to the reshuffle, so please don’t read any “reshuffle effect” or lack of one. I wouldn’t expect any reshuffle to have much immediate effect on the polls anyway, but they certainly don’t show up in polls conducted before it happened.

MORI also asked about whether people liked or disliked various high profile politicians and their policies. The figures are not good for the former Education Secretary! Only 22% of people like Gove, 54% dislike him – a net rating of minus 32. This was the worst of those MORI asked about – for comparison the net ratings for the others were Osborne minus 24, Miliband minus 22, Farage minus 16, Clegg minus 11, Cameron minus 6, Theresa May plus 5 and, of course, Boris plus 35.

Likeability of course is not the same as being suitable Prime Ministerial material. There are lots of people I like, but wouldn’t want as PM! Asked if they had what it took to be PM Boris scores much less well. 46% thinks Cameron has what it takes (but then, he is PM), 32% think Boris has, 30% think Theresa May has, 22% Ed Miliband, 18% George Osborne, 11% Michael Gove.


The daily YouGov poll for the Sun tonight has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%.

We also had the monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor earlier on today – details here. They had topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 14%(+3), GRN 8%(nc). An increase for UKIP following the European elections, but very little change elsewhere (though note the Greens equal with the Lib Dems).

MORI also asked some questions on whether Labour and Ed Miliband were ready for government. 35% of people think that Labour are ready for government, 22% that Ed Miliband is ready to be PM. The Ed Miliband figure is very similar to the YouGov question in the past asking if he looks like a “Prime Minister in waiting”, but MORI have been about for longer than YouGov, so in their case we can look at some historical comparisons here and here.

Looking at when MORI asked the same questions about oppositions a year or two out from an election (as opposed to immediately before an election when they score better), in 1996 58% thought Labour were ready for government, 56% thought Blair was ready to be PM. In 2000 23% thought the Tories were ready for government, 18% that Hague was ready to be PM. In 2003 21% thought the Tories ready for government, just 16% that IDS was ready to be PM. The government question wasn’t asked in 2004, but 31% thought Michael Howard was ready to be PM. In 2008-2009 between 41-58% thought the Tories were ready for goverment, 43% that Cameron was ready to be PM. On these measures at least Labour and Miliband are in better shape than the Tories under Hague and IDS, but worse than under Cameron and Howard.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17%. Seventeen percent for UKIP is the highest YouGov have shown since May 2013, also in the aftermath of a strong performance for UKIP at the ballot box. Looking at the poll in the context of the Lord Ashcroft and Populus polls yesterday it looks to me as if Labour’s lead may have opened up a bit in the aftermath of the European elections as UKIP get a boost from their strong performance. If last year is any guide, we should expect UKIP support to subside a bit after the immediate impact of the election success fades from people’s minds, but time will tell where it settles at. Tabs for the YouGov poll are here.

Yesterday there was also a new Scottish referendum poll from Ipsos MORI. Their topline voting intention figures were YES 36%(+4), NO 54%(-3) – changes are since MORI’s last quarterly poll. A movement towards YES, though MORI generally show one of the largest leads for NO, so even with that movement it leaves NO a chunky lead. Full details are here.