Ipsos MORI don’t have a political monitor this month (they are reviewing their sampling points), but they have released voting intention figures from their telephone Omnibus. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from MORI’s last poll (conducted at the start of the month for the Sun) are CON 41% (+1), LAB 32% (-3), LDEM 17% (+4).

The poll was conducted between the 23rd and 27th (Friday to Tuesday), so as with YouGov’s poll most of the data would have been collected before Labour’s problems with funding.

The trend is the same as we’ve seen elsewhere – the Conservatives steady at around 40%, Labour heading downwards, and the Lib Dems recovering from their October lows. This isn’t the biggest Conservative lead MORI have reported in recent times – they had a 10 point lead back in May – but it does look like here too Labour are back in the sort of position they were in during the end days of Tony Blair’s premiership.

Hopefully we’ll have some Sunday polls that were conducted towards the end of this week, so we can gauge the ongoing effect of Labour’s troubles…although more important will be what the polls look like in a couple of weeks time when the immediate bad headlines have gone and we can see what lasting damage Labour’s recent problems have had.

33 Responses to “Ipsos MORI show 9 point Tory lead”

  1. Depending on how they do the polling a good part of the results could have come before the most recent bit of sleaze hit Labour.

  2. Note to self: Read whole post before commenting or you’ll just repeat what Anthony says.

  3. MORI tends to be as friendly to Labour as ComRes is to the Conservatives – and so to me this poll is even worse than it looks for Labour.

    It is interesting to note that Labour, not the Tories, have suffered as a result of the LibDem incline. It remains to be seen whether this will be the case after the new LibDem leader is elected. I think it’s inevitable he will get a bounce, though probably not a long-lasting one.

  4. Makes it look that Yougov have a serious problem picking up LibDem support , as I said on the previous thread let’s see what Populus come up with .

  5. Populus will be interesting – their last poll had a Labour lead of 1%.

  6. There was a lot of comments from posters after the YouGov results saying that Question Time on BBC1 showed Labour in a good light with their panelist – i would have to say that she probably did more harm than good for Labour – she showed that typical hard unrepentant exterior of arrogance we have all got used to over 10 years & the businessman who supported Gordon Brown looked very much like a man grabbing at straws with his party political outburst .
    I think the worst reaction from the platform came from the Labour panelist when she over the BNP Free Speech debate at the Oxford Union – she highlighted the point we all now know about Labour and it’s idea’s of freedom of speech and the right to choose – CHILLING listening !

    Oh yeah – i also thought the UKIP panelist came over badly – if he was on the panel without any seats in Westminster – maybe we should see more smaller parties like Respect & BNP as panelists to liven up the debates – they have seats on local councils .

    Getting back to the latest POLL – as Anthony pointed out – we won’t get a true picture of public opinion till POLLS commissioned after the current party funding debacle and how that effects people’s perception of Labour and their ability to carry on ruling Britain .

  7. Mike Richardson

    Go on, break the mould, and try and make a critical comment about the blessed Tories.

  8. Well – slotting this in before the you.gov, this makes the WMA (for the you.gov) 41:32:16 CLead 8.7 thus suggesting that I/Mori (for once) is pretty well spot on. But I suspect that 2 polls later the C lead will be seen to have been higher.

    At the peak of the “Brown Bounce” there was a Labour lead of 8.7 (28/9) 2 months later there has been a 17.5% swing to the Conservatives, and the gap continues to widen. With a steady stream of bad news on the horizon for Gordon Bean wherever you look. Of course this trend can’t continue for ever, but it will be interesting to see where it stops. Labour will surely get below 30% – maybe they’ll hold the line at 25% but I wouldn’t take a 10:1 bet against them dropping below this. If the Lib Dems have any sense they’ll elect Hune and go after disaffected Labour voters.

  9. Labour got quite a lot of claps on Question Time even though they’re 10 points behind in the polls. Even when they were in front a few years ago they didn’t seem to get that much support from an audience as they did in Thursday’s audience. That is quite strange.

  10. NBeale: For once I think your predictions may have gone too far.

    To get to the low 20’s would be remarkable. Not even Major got consistently that low. Regularly in the high 20’s yes and occasionally into the low 20’s, but there was only one period of consecutive low 20’s results and that was May 94.

    100% agreed on Huhne and targeting disaffected Lab voters – of whom there’ll be far more at the next election than disaffected Con ones. Thought that before the LD leadership campaign, the flop the great white hope of Clegg has been just confirms it.


    “Go on, break the mould, and try and make a critical comment about the blessed Tories.”

    OKAY – i think that the soomer the old guard in the Tories go the better – they still represent in some peoples minds the old Tory image of the late John Major days & they are the ones that make ridiculous comments at times sometimes hurting the image of the Tories .

    Luckily Cameron seems very good at keeping them quiet and in the background where they should be – the old image of “purple rinse” supporters has finally gone – looking at the last Tory conference the majority of the audience seemed very young compared to a few years ago – that’s what the country needs – young faces with forward thinking idea’s .
    Even older faces like Alan Duncan with his cheeky smile and clever wit appeal to the young voter .

    Roll on the weekend POLLS & more news coverage of fresh political items to keep this great political fiasco going !!

  12. I don’t say they *will* go below 25%, merely that the probability of their doing so is now greater than 10%. And the likelihood of a leadership challenge to Brown is also growing: though still less than 25% I’d be amazed if anyone would give me odds of 100:1 against. How many Labour MPs are reflecting on Churchill’s maxim about Leaders: “If he makes mistakes, they must be covered. If he sleeps he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good he must be pole-axed”

  13. I think Labour should be pleased with the last couple of polls. Tory lead has fallen from 13 to 11 then 9 points. Only five more polls to go…!

    That said, the SNP may then “work together” with the Tories, and hay-presto!

  14. The SNP aren’t going to work with the Tories.

    In Scotland they will try to legislate with the help of who they can get and that means giving ground for support.

    So to get the budget through they may well move on crime and drugs to get Tory support and on LIT they may need to do a deal with the LibDems.

    As to Westminster The SNP will be fighting the Tories as much as Labour and the LibDems. A good SNP result may well deprive Labour of a majority but that isn’t the same as working with the Tories.

    A good LibDem result (though currently unlikely) would have the same effect, but that doesn’t make them Tory stooges, regardless of what Labour say.

    Where it gets interesting is after the election where the SNP can influence who forms a government and would be looking for more powers and cash for Scotland. That scenario presents problems for everyone…..

    For Brown,

    He can’t be seen to be favouring fellow Scots over England.
    Anything he gives the SNP hurts his own party in Scotland.
    The more power goes North the less important the Union becomes.

    For Cameron,

    His power base in the South would hate more cash going North.
    More power North could weaken the Union.

    For Alex,

    Scots still hate the Tories so a deal could hurt the SNP.
    Doing a deal with labour could given them a boost in Scotland.
    Staying on the fence could be viewed as stopping a stable government.


    The SNP might steal their thunder denying them influence.
    They might be seen as an irrelevance in Scotland.
    They could be reduced to a regional party not a national one.
    The SNP could steal much of their agenda.

    The best I can come up with for the SNP in terms of strategy is to treat the UK government as if we were independent and say,

    ” We need to work with whoever the English people democratically elect, just like France or Germany.

    If a majority of the English (no disrespect to Irish or Welsh but they are 90% of the UK less Scotland) vote Tory and they are the biggest party do the SNP have a right to stop a Tory government even if they have the power?

    On the one hand you could say no, but on the other, if Scots have voted hugely against a Tory government, doesn’t the SNP have a duty to try to prevent in if that’s what Scots want?

    So lets hear some opinions on that dilemma.

    If possible not the usual suspects saying,

    ” They should support the Tories if that’s what England want” ( Tory supporters)


    ” If Scots don’t want the Tories, the SNP should block them” (Labour supporters).


  15. Nicholas, that reminds me – it was often claimed that Labour were doing so badly during the 1983 election campaign that Margaret Thatcher actually campaigned for them by saying SDP people should have stayed in the party and driven out the far left. Incidentally, Philip Thompson, one poll put Labour on 23% during that campaign, their lowest ever.

    Fluffy Thoughts, I think the “declining” Tory lead is an indication of how much more MORI polls tend to favour Labour than ComRes.

  16. Peter Cairns:-

    “The SNP aren’t going to work with the Tories.
    So to get the budget through they may well move on crime and drugs to get Tory support”


    I’m sure Annabel will be very happy that the Scottish people can see Conservative policies being introduced.

  17. Sorry Peter but you are in fantasy land if you think the SNP are going to have significant influence over who forms the next British government at Westminster after the election. Your votes in the ballot box may well determine the result in a number of Scottish constituencies, but in number of seats the best you can hope for is a distant fourth instead of the current sixth, and the probability of that leaving you in a pivotal position is vanishingly small.
    There may be no overall majority, but it is difficult to construct a scenario where two of the top three will not have been able to produce a governing concordat irrespective of what you want.

  18. Agree Ian.

    Presumably Westminster-be it Labour or Conservative controlled will govern for the UK-until the Scottish people say they no longer want to be part of it.

  19. Colin,

    Sorry I wasn’t clear, what I meant is that the SNP won’t be working with the Tories in the run up to a Westminster election.

    They will as a minority government work with who they need to a bill at a time, Tory support on drugs, LibDem on local Income tax, and indeed Labour on ending RtoB for new social housing. This is what minority Governments need to do.

    They may also be looking to see what they can get in the event of a huge parliament. That depends on the outcome of a Westminster election. To be a player in that depends on the final arithmetic.

    Although I am one of those who haven’t got carried away and predicted sweeping gains for the SNP if we are in a situation where one or more parties is short of an overall majority by less than the number of SNP seats then we become an option.

    I doubt the SNP will get twenty seats but I’ve seen plenty of predictions that show Labour and Tory less than that short of an OM, and recently on this site and elsewhere I’ve seen predictions of LibDems in the thirties.

    Thus, taking in to account NI, we at least have the possibility of Labour or the Tories having options other than the LibDems. It’s not the most likely scenario but it will become a feature of the election campaign, particularly in Scotland.

    Lets not forget that it’s not without president, the SNP held the balance of power once before. Whats more the LibDems formed part of the Scottish Government even though they were 4th in 99. Even though they were behind the SNP and Tories in seats they were Labours preferred partner.

    There is noting that means the largest party needs to do a deal in terms of the size of the minority party, although the more seats the better does apply.

    One calculation both Labour and Tories would have to make is what advantage there would be to freezing out the LibDems. Certainly from a Tory perspective they are more of a threat than the SNP.

    Look at Anthony’s list of target seats and you’ll see that, nine Tory LibDems before the first SNP, it’s only two for Labour but then it’s almost a dozen before the next one and two of them are in Scotland. The LibDems don’t have an SNP seat in the top fifty.

    All that seems to suggest to me that the LibDems are a far bigger scalp for both Tory and Labour than the SNP. Of course both would need to look first at what the LibDems wanted and it’s consequences.

    Would they hold out for PR and is that too high a price for back bench MP’s? Would a deal with the LibDems undermine the opposition?

    If Cameron though that a deal with the LibDems would mean they were more likely to take future seats off Labour than him would that make the deal more attractive. Would Brown think the same.

    As ever what matters isn’t which of these are the most likely but rather, as with polls, the public perception of them.

    Although, as I have said, the SNP holding the balance of power isn’t the most likely scenario, it is a scenario and as such all the parties, particularly the SNP have to think about it.

    In May Labour being ten points ahead seemed fantasy, In September, with speculation of an early election rife, the Tories ten points ahead now was for most plain daft. No one was predicting six months ago that the LibDems would go close to single figures but they did.

    I’d be interested to see just how likely the SNP is to be in a position to paly the part of king maker. What percentages give it ten seats with someone else ten short, or twenty twenty. Looking at those percentages will tell us whether it’s “fantasy”.

    Maybe it’s a devolution thing, after all we’ve now had a decade of continuous coalition and minority government with all that goes with it, while in the UK you haven’t seen it in more than thirty years.


  20. Shows what I know…..

    Watch this space.



  21. Wouldn’t it be sensible for the parties to get together and agree some form of state-funding scheme for political parties? The Opposition already receives some funding – originally known as Short money – so there is a precedent. It would cost tax payers little more than a few pence per week each and would avoid all the Ashcroft/Trade Union shenanigans. Transparency and democracy are surely worth paying for?
    Do those who post extreme and sometimes vituperative comments on this site realise that they do their own causes no good at all? I accept that they have their entertainment value and can make us smile wryly so I certainly do not want them to cease.

  22. John H,

    State funding for political parties would be a bad move. Parties should be able to win support on the basis of their policies, not public funding.

    Spending caps are far more effective than allocating public money on basis of seats/votes won last time. It also causes a problem as to which method you choose.

    The problem only arises because Labour got into power by spending large sums, and then got hooked on high cost campaigns funded by a few key donors rather than building up their local organisation. That is what has given party fund-raising a bad name and damaged all parties.


  23. Peter Cairns,

    Despite being a Tory, I generally find myself in agreement with most of your posts.

    You are right that the SNP would not benefit from any pre-election deals – especially as they will be fighting three different battles in Scotland.

    In terms of maximising impact post next election, you need to haev as many seats as possible. Whetehr you are in a position to do anything with them depends on teh result in England

  24. “If possible not the usual suspects saying,

    ” They should support the Tories if that’s what England want” ( Tory supporters)


    ” If Scots don’t want the Tories, the SNP should block them” (Labour supporters).”

    Peter: I’d say the SNP should support (if it held the balance and could choose) whoever the SNP supports. Whichever party it is in its best interests to support.

    However while its possible for one party to be short by less than the SNP’s number of seats (allowing them to be “preferred partner” LD-style up north) . . . I do not see it being plausible for both parties to be short less than the SNP’s number of seats. The LD’s potentially could if they recover, but unless some of the more extreme predictions of an SNP clean-sweep of Scotland come true then that’s just not plausible.

    So the realistic choice could be:

    Should the SNP prop up the minority government (whichever it was the electorate chose) or not? Not which party to choose.

  25. Fluffy,

    The Tory lead hasn’t fallen, it has risen in all the polls.

  26. This poll shows an increase of 4 in the Tory lead, not a decrease of 2. You need to compare like-for-like.

  27. Philip,

    I agree, I doubt we would have a choice, it is far more support a minority government on the basis that they offer us what they want or let them fall and have another election.

    It would either be support Cameron or support brown, but it wouldn’t be both, one or the other will have a clear lead I think.

    However there is the other interesting option of two possible coalitions, where the LibDems and SNP combined could put either in power including the party that came second. That would be really new territory for the UK.

    I think a minority government would be more likely to get SNP support if it was labour simply because the Tories are so unpopular in Scotland. Ironically Brown would probably hate it and I know back bench Scottish labour MP’s would be livid , but that’s politics.

    It would almost certainly be supply and support rather than cabinet seats, with the SNP backing the budget and confidence motions, in return for more power for Holyrood.

    That would also allow us to claim credit where it suited uswhile denying responsibility for the likes of an Iraq.

    How the SNP would get on with a minority Tory government is difficult to say. I doubt it would go down well with the Scottish public and i think there are a high number in the SNP who would see it as a step to far.



  28. Depends, the SNP (if still in government in Holyrood and holding enough to provide a working majority in Westminster) and a minority Tory government could have a lot of self-interest to work together. And the fact that the Tories are at present helping support the minority SNP government in Holyrood could provide a good precedent for that to be reciprocated at Westminster.

    Would be interesting to see how the WLQ would get addressed under these circumstances . . . and if Cameron and Salmond would reach a deal on a referendum.

  29. A YouGov Sky poll of Lib Dem members about the party leadership contest has Nick Clegg on 56% and Chris Huhne on 44% of those that have made up their minds. 48% have voted.

  30. John H

    Completely agree with you but see problems in that the Tories get large contributions from quoted companies and Labour from the union political levy (as well as some company donations). In the former case I assume these donations will show up in the annual accounts which will have to be ratified by the annual company AGM whilst unions under the laws brought in under Thatcher have to ballot members every five years on the political levy. I believe that individual union members can opt out of the political levy (inertia plays a role here)whilst theoretically shareholders could have some say (but to what effect?) regarding company donations. Neither the Tories and Labour will be keen to give up major sources of funding and in the real world it would be difficult to further regulate such donations. Then we have the interesting matter of donations to constituencies between elections, which is where Ashcroft comes in, which seem to be entirely unregualted outside the 2000 Act’s requirements about the source.

    The only sensible solution is state funding based on votes received in the previous general election and a fairly low cap on any sort of donation from any other source. This will create a much more level playing field; interested to know what polling evidence there is around public funding of political parties?

  31. I agree with Paul HJ-state funding of political parties would be a bad thing.

    They do not need to spend so much and spend on electioneering should be capped.There should be limits on individual donations.

    State funding in Europe has not eliminated corruption-Germany spends £100 million pa & still had the Kohl scandal. France which is awash with state aid has had 700 politicians charged with corruption in the past decade.
    But the most worrying effect would be that the State would decide what was an acceptable political party.So called”cartel democracies” which use state funding to prevent new parties emerging arise. Austria & Belgium are often quoted as examples. In Netherlands a Calvinist party had it’s grants removed because it didn’t champion sex equality.
    In the European Parliament-where each MSP consumes £1million of taxpayer funds-parties must accept”the values of the European Union”.

    This is anti-democratic. The battle of ideas should not be circumvented by The State.

  32. Colin,

    Interesting point about the state funding of parties. I’ve always thought it was a good idea. It seems wrong to me that a political party should be relying on money from big business or unions as then they are inevitably going to face a conflict of interest when passing laws that affect those institutions. I have to admit I hadn’t cosidered how political parties would be picked in the first place. Does anyone know how this happens in other countries?


    I think the reason why the finance minister got so many claps was that she was the only minister brave enough to make an appearance while the rest of the cabinet was hiding. I didn’t think she came across as arrogant at all. Mike, I’m not sure what point your making about free speech? She said she wouldn’t ban the BNP but wouldn’t stand on a stage with them – thus exercising her freedom of speech (or freedom not to speak in this case).

    John H: “vituperative” – good word, I just looked it up. :)

  33. Steven:-

    The obvious extreme example in UK would be BNP-
    I do not want my taxes to be used by this party to publicise themselves.
    But I don’t want the Government of the day to decide that BNP cannot have access to the democratic process.
    I want BNP -like all other political parties- to raise their own funds, and if they can do so to present their ideas to the voters.

    RE Big Business vs The Unions and conflict of interest-don’t we have to be realistic and accept that political manifestos have target consumers?
    If these targets are narrow & exclusive they will not garner much support.If they are broader and inclusive they will attract widespread support.
    The disproportionate effect of funding can be significantly reduced by limits on spending and caps on individual donations.