Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out this lunchtime and has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 35%(+3), LAB 44%(-2), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 7%(+4). The poll shows a shift back towards the Conservatives, but this will largely be a reversion to the mean after last month’s slightly wacky sample. Meanwhile the 7% for UKIP is the highest MORI have shown them since the general election, although their highest ever from MORI was 8% back in 2009.

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LD 10%, UKIP 8%. After a couple of weeks of YouGov polls showing increased Labour leads, the last few polls look as though they may be settling back towards the 10 point leads that have been the norm for most of 2012.

Meanwhile the weekly TNS BMRB poll has particulatly unusual figures – CON 26% (-2), LAB 41% (+1), LD 8% (-2), UKIP 16% (+4). The UKIP figure is the highest they’ve recorded in a poll. I would advise the usual caution towards any poll showing strange or outlandish figures – sure, they could be the start of a trend, but more likely it is normal sample error. Clearly there has been a genuine increase in UKIP support over recent weeks that has been picked up across polls from many different companies… but this particular poll looks likely to be an outlier.


This week’s YouGov polling for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%. No sooner had a posted that it looked as though the Labour lead in YouGov’s daily was consolidating around 12 points, we’ve had polls showing a ten and nine point lead. Such is life!

The rest of the poll concentrated upon the Autumn Statement and the royal baby. All the economic figures remain extremely pessimistic. 77% think the economy is in a bad state, 57% expect their financial situation to get worse next year. 33% of people say they have confidence in the government to get the country out of the current economic crisis, down on when YouGov last asked in January. However, the Conservatives are still preferred to the alternative. 37% trust Cameron & Osborne more on the economy, compared to 26% for Miliband and Balls.

On YouGov’s semi-regular question about economic strategy people are evenly split – 36% think the government should continue to prioritise the deficit, 37% think they should prioritise growth instead. Turning to the specifics of the statement:

  • 36% of people think they personally will be worse off compared to only 6% who think they will benefit.
  • 33% of people think that it was right to limit increases in benefits to 1%, 19% think the government should have gone further and frozen benefits completely, 35% think they should, at least, have been increased in line with inflation.
  • On tax evasion and avoidance, 73% of people think the government should be doing more
  • There is a fairly even split over teachers pay – 47% think they should be paid on national scales, 43% think they headteachers should pay them on performance.
  • The cut in Corporation tax is supported by 43% and opposed by 26%. More generally 51% think it is a good thing for the country to have low corporation tax, 25% a bad thing.
  • Shale Gas also produces a fairly even split – 34% think it is right to give more financial incentives to extract it, 32% think it wrong, 34% don’t know.

Moving to the royal questions, people overwhelmingly think it is right that the law is to be changed to treat men and women equally in the line of succession (87% think the law should be changed, 6% do not). There is similarly overwhelming support for a change to the laws governing the succession of other titles (81% support).

Prince William is seen as the member of the Royal Family who has done most to improve perceptions of the Royal Family, picked by 33% of people, followed by the Queen on 27%. 47% of people think he should remain in the armed forces once his commission expires next year. Finally, of the bookies’ favourites for royal baby names people prefer George (17%) and Diana (21%) as names.

While I am here, yesterday morning YouGov also publishing polling on the X Factor for the Sun. For historical reasons, the political department at YouGov always do polling on the X Factor (essentially when YouGov were first starting to do polling, well before my time, they did a really good poll predicting the 2001 election for the Sunday Business… that didn’t really get them noticed at all. Then they did a poll predicting that Will Young would beat Gareth Gates in Pop Idol and suddenly the calls started coming on. The rest is history). The poll had Christopher Maloney coming in third, whch has indeed happened, and has James Arthur beating Jahmene Douglas in a run-off between the two of them: James Arthur 45%, Jahmene Douglas 38%, Decide who to vote for on the night 14%….

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%.

There weren’t any questions on the specifics of the Autumn statement, but YouGov did update some general economic trackers. 24% of people now think George Osborne is doing a good job as Chancellor, a poor rating, but significantly up on the 15% approval rating YouGov recorded for him back in June. People think the government are managing the economy badly by 58% to 35%, but again this is up slightly from before the statement when the figures were 60% badly, 30% well.

Negative ratings do not, of course, necessarily imply that people would prefer the alternative. Osborne continues to lead Balls on who would make the better Chancellor by 31% to 25% and asked how they think the economy would be doing if Labour had won the last election, 38% of people think it would be doing even more badly compared to 24% who think it would be doing better.

Asked about the state of the economy, people remained extremely pessimistic. Only 17% of people think the economic is starting to recover or is actually recovering, 45% of people think the economy is still getting worse. Views have got more negative since YouGov last asked, but that was straight after the positive GDP figures, so it’s largely the fading of the brief couple of weeks of economic optimism we saw after last month’s figures.

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 10%. I think we can now be pretty confident that the underlying Labour lead in YouGov’s daily polling has ticked up to twelve points or so, mostly it seems from a drop in Conservative support and increase in UKIP support – Labour’s own support remains pretty much unchanged.

The main driver of change here was presumably the positive publicity UKIP got from their strong performance in the recent by-elections, the Rotherham fostering row and the talk of a Conservative-UKIP row, an excellent week of news coverage for UKIP. Whether it will be sustained or will fade away again as the news agenda rolls on is a different matter.

(As a reminder, the vast majority of the fieldwork for this poll was completed before the Autumn statement. Tomorrow morning’s poll will be the first one conducted after the statement, though personally I wouldn’t expect any huge impact.)