The full results of Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor are now up here. The voting intention figures were in the Mirror yesterday, but some of the more interesting results were instead published in the Observer today.

Firstly we have the economic optimism figures. As with YouGov in the Telegraph, these show an improvement since the announcement that Britain has formally exited recession. 44% of people expect the economy to get better over the next 12 months, 24% expect it to get worse for a net figure of +20.

I was also pleased to see MORI repeat their question on whether people like Brown and/or Labour, and whether they like Cameron and/or the Conservative party. This was last asked in summer 2008 when the Conservatives were enjoying a towering 20 point lead. Back then it showed Cameron was far more popular than the Conservatives (54% liked him, compared to 42% his party), but Brown was much less popular than Labour (29% liked him, 39% his party).

Now Gordon Brown’s likeability has increased to 35% (up 6), compared to Labour on 38% (down 1). Cameron’s likeability stands at 45% (down 9), his party 39% (down 3). Not surprisingly given the Conservative lead in the polls has gone from 20 points to 8, Brown is seen as more likeable and Cameron less so than in 2008. However, the shift really does seem to be in how the leaders are seen – how much people like the parties they lead has moved much less.

Despite that Cameron remains a plus for his party, with 6% more people liking him than his party, while Brown remains a drag on his, liked by 3% fewer than Labour are. In both cases though the gap between leader and party is much smaller.

BPIX in the Mail on Sunday have CON 39%(-2), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 18%(+1). The rest of their poll asked about Tony Blair and the Chilcot inquiry, it is the usual negative response: 70% of people think the war in Iraq was illegal, and 80% say they did not believe that Blair did not lie over a Iraq (a rather twisted way of asking it, a straight forward do you think Tony Blair lied or did not lie would give a better answer, and in terms of WMD, shows a much smaller percentage of people thinking Blair knowingly misled people on the issue).

Meanwhile the YouGov poll in the People doesn’t seem to be online – so we’ll have to wait for the tables on YouGov’s website to see what other questions were asked.


As well as the YouGov poll in the Telegraph this morning, there is also one in the People tomorrow. The topline figures are CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 18%.

I’ve not put any changes in the vote, since this poll would have been carried out at roughly the same times as the Telegraph poll (I forgot to note down the actual dates, and the People haven’t published them yet – Nigel Nelson just twittered the topline figures). The difference between this and the other poll, which had figures of CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 18% will be just normal sample variation, and compared to YouGov’s previous poll in mid-January this one shows no difference whatsover.

It’s a reminder that a lot of movement in polls is just down to sample error, and doesn’t signify anything whatsover. If a poll shows just a point or two’s difference, then unless it is part of a broader trend reflected in several polls it doesn’t mean much.

A third new poll today, this one from YouGov in the Daily Telegraph. YouGov show a further narrowing of the Conservative lead, with topline figures of CON 38%(-2), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 19%(+1).

Unlike MORI’s poll the changes are well within the margin of error, but it’s a further whittling away of the Tory lead. This is the smallest Conservative lead from YouGov since the Labour conference (and one needs to go all the way back to December 2008 to find a smaller one).

The Telegraph’s own report of the poll isn’t up yet (this is from Reuters), but hopefully we will get the normal YouGov/Telegraph trackers and will be able to see exactly what affect the end of the recession had on economic confidence, and whether that might have contributed to the narrowing polling lead.

UPDATE: Here are some of those economic figures I was waiting for. YouGov’s economic optimism figure is up to minus 10 from minus 13 a month ago, so up since December but not actually by very much. There was a more significant rise in the proportion of people who thought the government’s measures to tackle the recession had begun to work – up to 22% from 15% a month ago.

Ipsos-MORI’s monthly poll has also been published and is up on their website here. Their topline figures, with changes from their last poll in mid-December, are CON 40%(-3), LAB 32%(+6), LDEM 16%(-4).

It’s a big shift back to Labour, but to some extent it seems to be a correction from a rather outlandish poll in December, which had showed the Conservatives at 43% when everyone else had them near 40% and Labour down in the mid 20s. This 8 point lead is the smallest of all the January polls so far, but only by a point.

On other questions MORI found Gordon Brown’s net approval rising to minus 26 and David Cameron’s dropping to plus 3. Nick Clegg retained the most positive net rating on plus 16. Sadly MORI don’t appear to have asked an economic confidence question – it would have been interesting to see if there had been an increase in economic confidence on the back of the country leaving recession.

The fieldwork was done between Tuesday and Thursday, which seems to be a slight departure – previously I think MORI did their telephone political monitors over the weekend, hence the long gap between fieldwork and publication when it appeared in Sunday newspapers.

This gives us one post-recession poll showing no change, and one showing the gap narrowing. Don’t worry, there’s more to come over the next week.