Ipsos MORI released their monthly political monitor yesterday, topline voting intention numbers are CON 37%, LAB 31%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%. These are on the basis of some minor interim changes to methodology (in this case adding how habitually people vote to the turnout model) while the inquiry continues longer term solutions are worked upon. Tabs are here. MORI also asked a question about whether people thought the four Labour leadership candidates had what it took to be a good Prime Minister. Andy Burnham had the best score (or the least worst) – 27% of people thought he did, 27% disagreed. In comparison 22% thought Yvette Cooper did, 16% Liz Kendall and 17% Jeremy Corbyn.

YouGov also published the rest of their poll of Labour party members, conducted for the Times. Tables for part one of the research are here, part two here. The second wave included a question on why party members are voting as they are, showing the contrast between what is driving Burnham, Cooper, Kendall and Corbyn voters. Burnham supporters say they are backing him because he has the best chance of winning, will unite the party and will be the best opposition to the Conservatives. The answers from Cooper supporters are similar, though there is less emphasis on party unity. For Kendall supporters the key reason to back her is seen as having the best change of winning, followed by the being the strongest opposition – 31% of her supporters say they are backing her as a break from Ed Miliband’s party, and only 10% see her as a unifier. The drivers for supporters of Jeremy Corbyn contrast sharply with the other three – only 5% of his supporters say they are backing him as the candidate who has the best chance of winning in 2020, only 5% are backing him as a unifier, the reasons are overwhelmingly because they think he has the best policies and because they think he is a break from New Labour.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out, their first since the election. Topline figures are CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, GRN 6%. As with other recent voting intention polls, the figures themselves are perhaps less interesting than the methodology changes. In the case of Ipsos MORI, they’ve made an adjustment to their turnout filter. In the past they used to take only those respondents who said they were 10/10 certain to vote, the tightest of all the companies’ approaches. Their new approach is a little more complex, filtering people based on how likely they say they are to vote at an election and how regularly they say they usually vote – now they include only people who say their likelihood to vote is 9/10 or 10/10 AND who say they usually or always vote or “it depends”. People who say they rarely, never or sometimes vote are excluded.

The impact of this doesn’t appear to be massive. We can tell from the tables that the old method would have produced similar results of CON 39%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%, GRN 6%. In their comments on their topline results MORI are very explicit that this is just an interim measure, and that they anticipate making further changes in the future as their internal inquiry and the BPC inquiry continue.

Looking at the other questions in the survey, MORI also asked about the Labour leadership election, and found results in line with other polling we’ve seen so far… a solid lead for don’t know! Amongst the minority who expressed an opinion, Andy Burnham, led on 15%, followed by Yvette Cooper on 14%, Liz Kendall on 11%, Jeremy Corbyn on 5% and a dummy candidate (“Stewart Lewis”) on 3%.


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The best estimates of how Britain’s ethnic minorities voted in the 2010 election, taken from the Ethnic Minority British Election Study, are CON 16%, LAB 68%. Last month British Future released a report, based on Survation polling, that suggested that ethnic minority voters in 2015 split CON 33%, LAB 52%.

This would represent a huge turnaround – a doubling of Conservative support amongst ethnic minorities and a drop of sixteen points for Labour. However, it is quite difficult to believe, or to tally with the actual election results we saw. A sixteen point swing from Lab to Con would be stunning (to put it in context, the 1997 swing from Con to Lab was ten points), movements of that scale can happen (look at Scotland), but they are hardly commonplace. And ethnic minority voters are highly concentrated geographically, if there had been such an outlandish movement from Lab to Con amongst BME voters we should have expected to see seats with a high proportion of ethnic minority voters swing disproportionately towards the Conservatives – we didn’t (it was the exact opposite). We would have expected the more ethnically diverse London to swing more towards the Conservatives – it didn’t, it swung much more heavily to Labour.

So what explains the difference? I expect it’s simply down to comparing apples to oranges. Polling ethnic minority voters is a hard challenge. Ethnic minority Britons are likely to be younger, less affluent and often live more transient lifestyles – all things that make groups harder to poll. Recent immigrants (and even some longer term residents) may speak English as a second language or not at all, which poses a problem for surveys. And of course, if a poll under-represents less affluent, less established, integrated and English-speaking minority communities and over-represents those who have been here for generations it may well misrepresent their voting intentions.

The 2010 Ethnic Minority BES (EMBES) was conducted using a proper stratified random sample. For reasons of cost it was limited to areas of comparatively high ethnic minority concentration, but the cut off was very low (it excluded areas with less than 2% ethnic minorities, where 12% of ethnic minorities in Britain lived). They contacted 31,000 randomly selected addresses in order to find 4224 eligible respondents and amongst them managed a response rate of 66%. Doorstep translation cards were available in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati and Bengali, and other household members were allowed to act as translators if the person selected couldn’t speak English (there were translated versions of the survey available to assist). The British Future poll was done using an internet panel so would have covered ethnic minority voters living in all parts of Britain and all ethnic minority groups (the EMBES concentrated on Black African and Caribbean, Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi) but only those integrated enough into British society to have joined internet panels doing surveys in English.

Any difference between the two polls therefore may just as likely be from the radically different ways the polls were conducted as from an actual shift in voting behaviour. What we need in order to be confident is to compare like-with-like, data from 2010 and 2015 that was collected in the same way. Over on the YouGov site they have some analysis by Rob Ford, Laurence Janta-Lipinski and Maria Sobolewska comparing YouGov’s ethnic minority vote in 2010 and 2015. As with Survation’s internet poll, YouGov’s internet poll found higher levels of Conservative support amongst ethnic minorities than in the EMBES… but crucially, if you compared their 2010 figures to their 2015 figures there was only modest movement towards the Tories, it suggests a swing from Lab to Con amongst ethnic minority voters of 2 percent, rather than 16 percent.

We can do a similar thing with Ipsos-MORI’s data – after every election they publish a big aggregate of their data from the campaign, so we can compare their breakdown amongst ethnic minority voters in 2015 with that in 2010. Similar to the comparison in YouGov data, it shows some movement towards the Conservatives amongst BME voters, but only a modest one – MORI data suggests a 1 percent swing.

So the Conservatives do seem to be making some progress amongst ethnic minority voters… but it’s probably only a modest advance, as yet the huge Labour advantage amongst BME voters remains almost as large as it was at previous elections.


In what is presumably their penultimate general election poll (their final call poll is normally in the Standard on election day itself) Ipsos MORI have topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 8%. It’s quite a shift from their previous poll, which had a two point Labour lead, so usual caveats apply. Full details and tables are here.

Panelbase meanwhile have new figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4%. I haven’t seen any tables yet, but I’ll update when available. UPDATE: Tabs are here

Still to come tonight we have the daily YouGov poll and a snap ICM/Guardian reaction poll following the Leaders Question Time special.

UPDATE2: The daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5%. Meanwhile the ICM/Guardian instant reaction poll following the Question Time special found veiwers thought David Cameron came out narrowly on top – 44% thought Cameron did the best, 38% Miliband, 19% Nick Clegg.


Two new GB voting intention polls today, with the regular YouGov/Sun poll still to come. The two polls so far are both wholly in line with the overall average – Lab and Con pretty much neck-and-neck, with Labour just a tad ahead.

Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has topline figures of CON 33%(nc), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 10%(-3), GRN 8%(+2). Full details of the polling are here.

Meanwhile Panelbase have figures of CON 33%(+2), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 16%(nc), GRN 4%(nc). There’s a shift to the Tories here, but it’s almost certainly just a reversion to the mean – the previous Panelbase poll was that unusual six point Labour lead. Full tabs are here.