Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has been published and has figures of CON 40%(+2), LAB 24%(+3), LDEM 18%(-1). I don’t have the figures for “others”, but looking at the changes from their last poll we can assume that, like all the other recent polls, they are in decline.

In this case, it’s Labour who have gained the most, but together with the other recent polls that have shown the Lib Dems or Conservatives with the largest increase I think we can reasonably conclude that the decline in support for minor parties has not disproportionately benefited any of the big three.

98 Responses to “MORI monthly political monitor”

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  1. @Alasdair Cameron

    “failed to realise that even if they withdrew from the EU they would need to abide by the majority of its rules in order to trade”

    They’ve failed to realise this? Since Heath knew it back in 1974 and I knew it before I could vote, I’d be surprised if Cameron didn’t. In any case, the ECR does not propose withdrawal, the ID group does.

    “the idea of a federal Europe is a long way off for now anyway, thanks to the people of Europe! ”

    Really? This is a parliament that thinks that 3 “no”s (France, the Netherlands, Ireland) means “please ask me again, I was merely being coy”. It’s like watching a grotesque re-enactment of Mr Collins from Pride and Prejudice, only this time, you’re not sure the heroine’s going to win.

  2. Richard – fair point re ECR not wanting to leave EU. I was getting confused by the anti-EU Conservatives on this blog… :) (ironic use of smiley to diffuse bad feelings)

  3. @Alasdair Cameron

    Unlikely to be much (if any) coverage of Norwich North tonight. They don’t start counting till tomorrow

  4. @Alasdair :-) doesn’t really work, what works is when people argue from a point of fact and not a point of ignorance. There are not many people who are anti Europe, just anti current and future integration into the legal framework. Almost all tories see the benefits of Europe as a trading partner, we just don’t want them telling us what shape our carrots need to be. ok

  5. Alasdair,

    Apprently the Norwich North count will take place tomorrow morning with the result being declared about lunchtime.

    Watch either the BBC News Channel or Sky News for coverage.

  6. The several posts on attitudes to the EU seem to me at least to miss a rather important point.

    That is the EU budget. According to what I understand David Cameron to have said, part of our problems relate to too much being run from Europe and that there needs to be a transfer back of powers from the EU to National Governments. Personally, I agree with that. However I would have thought the only certain way of achieving that is to recognise that such a transfer will not be made willingly by those in Europe. In order to achieve that therefore it is absolutely essential there is a sustained reduction in successive budgets.

    My knowledge of the respective powers of National and EU authorities is necessarily less than comprehensive but I understand that it is for National Governments to agree the size of the overall EU budget every 7 years or so. Furthermore that agreement is not subject to majority control and therefore each National Government has a veto. If my understanding is correct than the place to state that unequivocally is in relation to UK General Elections. Maybe I’m in a minority of one but my perception is that a very large number of people would support a 5% reduction in the EU budget in each of the next 7 year budget life, especially when the UK Government as well as individuals are currently and will for that same period at least, be forced to control quite severely their expenditures. In my many years in business we regularly planned on a 2½% efficiency gain each year so a real time cut of 2½% is surely the minimum that could and should be achieved.

    Such an attitude would both silence those who think Cameron doesn’t have a practical EU policy irrespective of whether the Lisbon Treaty is fully ratified or not and I suggest it would also effectively spike the guns of many of UKIP’s most voluble supporters.

  7. @Alasdair Cameron

    Same to you – :) – sorry for flaming you a bit…

  8. Andy’s Election General Election Forecast: End July 2009

    Being a professional forecaster by trade I thought it would be fun to develop a forecasting model for the next General Election using historical trends.

    I have collated opinion poll data for the 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections (courtesy of this site) and am looking at the variance of the Conservative lead in the polls to their actual lead at the election and also the Lib Dem share of the vote compared to the actual result.

    Every month from now until the election I will publish my forecast and then we can see how accurate it is come next May.

    The following data is from the previous elections. For each year the first number is the variance of the Tory poll lead (or defecit) versus their actual result. A positive number means that they did better in the election than in the poll and vice versa.

    The second figure is the difference between the LD result and their poll result – again a positive figure means they did better in the election than in the poll.

    For each month I have taken the last 6 polls.

    So the results for end July are as follows:
    Base Data: 1992 +10.50/+1.30; 1997 +9.25/+2.22; 2001 +4.50/+3.57; 2005 -0.67/-1.40

    Average: +2.93/+1.52

    Note that the first figure is a weighted average (50% 2005, 30% 2001, 15% 1997 and 5% 1992)

    Most recent 6 polls show a Tory lead averaging 14.17 points and a LD poll rating of 19.50%

    My prediction for the GE is a Tory Lead of 17 points and an LD poll rating of 21%.

    Assuming that the three main parties poll the same as in 2005 (90%) would give the following split between the main parties:

    Conservative 43% : Labour 26% : Liberal Democrat 21%

    Giving a Tory majority of 120 seats.

  9. @David D – the concept is fine, except it’s not just fiscal policy that’s at fault. If all we were talking about was how much the EU spends on building projects, research and it’s own infrastructure etc then most people would be fine. however we are already in a place where the euopean courts are seen by many as the final court an no longer our own courts.

    We must be placed back in control of our own laws and our own systems. Yes help the EU, but as a partner and not as a member state so long as eu nations keep pushing for federalisation.

    The financial 5 difference you talk about would not be significant fast enough to make the changes that are neccessary now. It needs to be done within the next 2 parliments and not over the next 35 years.

  10. Keir… I don’t know about carrots, buy I do know that the vast majority of these ‘EU says cucmbers must be x size’ are not actually true… (in the cucumbers case I think the EU Directive on trading standards was exactly the same as the existing UK legislation).


  11. Someone is saying that there are a lot of postal votes in the Norwich election. Will that benefit labour?

  12. It benefits whoever has been well organised at signing up their supporters for postal votes! There’s no hard and fast rule.

  13. Andy in the Guardian is saying labour got 19.5%, coming second.

  14. @Keir, @Alasdair

    Part of the reason why EU regulations get so much flak is because of the over-pedantic way they are written. I have a good friend who works as a civil servant in the EU, and I’ve seen a few of these examples. Two cases the friend emailed to me were

    … the carrot shall be considered a fruit …
    … the snail shall be considered a fish …

    In both cases the context (omitted) is relevant. The first was a regulation on jam. The Portuguese make a carrot jam and this was a clause, taken out of context, to shoehorn carrot jam into the regulation. The second was a regulation on shop hygiene, and was a way to provide standards for edible snails without starting from scratch.

    A lot of the “idiocies” in the wording comes from bureaucrats trying to write a single regulation to cover 27 national practices that has to be translated into 23 (?) languages.

  15. Conservatives: 13,591

    Labour: 6,243

    Lib Dems: 4,803

    Majority: 7,300-odd

  16. Wow! That is a spectacular result for the Tories. They have achieved a swing in the vote of 13,400.

    What does that equate to in swing terms? And what would it mean if repeated in a GE?

  17. More detail…

    Conservative 13,591
    Labour 6,243
    Liberal Democrat 4,803
    UK Independence 4,068
    Green 3,350
    Put an Honest… 953
    British National 941
    Independent 166
    Monster Raving… 144
    NOTA 59
    Libertarian 36
    Independent 23

    Majority 7,348

  18. Andrew Myers,

    The swing from Labour to Conservative was 16.5%.

    In a General Election that would reduce Labour to around 110 seats and give the Conservatives about 475 – a majority of circa 300!

  19. That’s a 16.5% swing, mostly Labour loss to UKIP/Green/Others.

    Tories went up 6.3%, UKIP 9.43%.

    The question is: how many of UKIP can DC rely upon to vote Tory in the GE?

    I suspect that it’ll be quite a lot, any other thoughts?

  20. it’s a big swing but im sure going on the type of seat norwich north is it will be a baromitor of actual thinking exspect big torie leads in the polls over th next few weeks or at least an increese in there poll ratings

  21. Boy did i get that wrong ! blush, squirm.
    This was a really dull,bog-standard by-election-1st & 2nd trade places, 3rd is squeezed & a lot of voters have a laugh.

    What does it say about the GE? Like all the other actual votes it suggests the Tories on the upper 30s, no landslide, Labour will be hammered & LDs a small improvement- the big shifts will come in 2014

  22. Keir (not voting Labour)

    Thanks but the timefarme between EU budgets is some 7 years so my proposal would mean a 5% reduction EACH and EVERY year for 7 years! That means starting in 2012/13 the entire budget would be reduced by 30% (on a compound basis to give the EU the benefit that compounding gives when it’s a reduction) over its life. That would actiually FORCE the EU to do less and in practice return responsibility for many things to National Government by the end of the budget period beginnig in 2012/13

    I suggest that is pretty dramatic and within the two parliaments you suggest.

  23. I am now wondering if the Opinion Polls that have the Conservatives on 40% or there about are they under-estimating Tory support.

    It has been claimed for years that the Tory vote is actually underestimated in Opinion polls,anyone got any evidence of this? as if the Tories can take near 40% in a Labour Heartland the argument may have legs.

    The Tory majority was larger than the entire Labour vote!

    Terrible for the Lib-Dems also.

    If you add the Labour vote to the Lib vote,you still don’t come anywhere near overtaking the Tory vote.

    Greens nowhere!

  24. So much for the farcical claim by some deluded LIb Dem supporters on this site that their party was closing the gap on the Tories in Norwich North. In fact they only just managed to cling on to third place from UKIP!

    One of the reasons that so many people cannot take the Lib Dems seriously is precisely because they simply cannot stop talking up their chances whereas the more mature Labour and Tory supporters try to lower expectations and thus avoid ending up with egg on their faces.
    All three major parties are clearly still suffering from the expenses scandal and the Euro election results but on the evidence of the opinion polls that is beginning to fade and with a 16.5% swing the Tories can be well satisfied with the result . For Labour it is nothing short of a nightmare.

  25. Victory speech annoyed me, yet another load of bullshit about new politics (party of person giving speech) and old politics (other main party).

    Broadly expected result, with the same theme as recent talks…Labour are losing, but Cons aren’t particularly winning….although of course, with FPTP they are winning.

    I’m thinking more and more that either lab or libdems getting some relatively outside the box leader could change things a lot, as the cons are only winning by default. Doubt like the lib dems will though, and if lab do it’ll surely be someone mainstream and ‘safe’. I see cons winning but with very low numbers actually voting for them, 2014 is gonna be an interesting one I think, if only I was 10 years older and had tens of millions to start my own party….

    This certainly hasn’t pissed on any labour recovery hopes though, cons are claiming swing of 13000 voters but they only got 13000 votes, everyone sensible is betting on cons win but I wouldn’t want to put my mortgage on a minimum majority. That’s probably what will set things in stone really, it’s not bad enough for labour…..or rather not good enough for cons….for labour to actually get rid of brown easily. To stand a decent chance they need to panic, rather than thinking of minimising the loss and coming back in 2014/5 saying ‘told you not to vote for them’ after years of true prudence.

    I’m blathering, I’ll stop.

  26. @Nick”One of the reasons that so many people cannot take the Lib Dems seriously is precisely because they simply cannot stop talking up their chances whereas the more mature Labour and Tory supporters try to lower expectations and thus avoid ending up with egg on their faces.”

    There are people like that supporting every party, just that when lib dems predict 5% more of the vote it seems a bigger mistake than when cons do. The idea that supporters of one party or another are inherently more/less mature is a little dodgy. I’ve got a previous comment about result in general awaiting moderation, guess I’ll have to remember not to swear on this site…

    Also @Nick, I think it was us two who made the predictions for start of August, I can’t remember what exactly they were, but assuming cons get some sorta boost from this it’s looking more like you than me.

  27. @ Rich

    Yes you are right, the Tory vote has always been underestimated by opinion polls, notably beleive it or not in 1997.

    You asked for some evidence; here it is:

    1992 1997 2001 2005
    Exit 8.92 5.33 1.67 3.43
    Mar 11.00 12.67 2.33 6.17
    Feb 6.17 7.17 3.50 5.58
    Jan 6.75 8.50 1.83 4.98
    Dec 8.58 12.33 1.83 4.50
    Nov 9.00 9.67 2.67 3.83
    Oct 8.50 10.00 3.83 2.89
    Sept 7.83 12.00 -2.33 -1.13
    Aug 9.83 10.67 -1.17 3.86

    The numbers relate to the percentage points that the Tory vote was over or underestimated based on the average of the last 6 polls at the end of every month leading up to the last 4 elections.

    A positive number means that the actual result was that many points better, so for example in the 1997 election the Tory share of the vote was 10.67 points better than in the last 6 polls leading up to end August 1996.


    Thanks very much for that info much appreciated.

  29. No worries Rich

    I actually made an error with the 2001 and 2005 data so here is the correct table.

    1992 1997 2001 2005
    Exit 8.92 5.33 4.50 1.67
    Mar 11.00 12.67 8.50 2.33
    Feb 6.17 7.17 8.17 3.50
    Jan 6.75 8.50 8.17 1.83
    Dec 8.58 12.33 4.33 1.83
    Nov 9.00 9.67 2.00 2.67
    Oct 8.50 10.00 -3.17 3.83
    Sept 7.83 12.00 -7.17 -2.33
    Aug 9.83 10.67 7.83 -1.17
    Jul 10.50 9.25 4.50 -0.67

    The only time when the Tory lead was overestimated was in the September 2000 polls – this was the time of the fuel strike.

  30. Yup, terrible prediction from moi.

    I was looking at the results from the by-election and obviosuly it wasn’t a GE and it cannot really be used as a basis for GE predictions. Normally I’d say that the result would be closer at a GE due to a higher turnout, however, in the next GE, whenever it comes, I think the turnout will be lower than the last and I think the smaller parties will retain some of their votes provoked by the expenses outrage and main party bickering, so therefore I think more similar results could be seen, with MPs winning seats with a much smaller majority in many areas, even some ‘safe’ areas, therefore UKIP and the Greens in particular may see their overall vote massively rise but still fail to get MPs, perhaps this will increase pressure to reform the electoral system, another issue for the new PM to face?

  31. There is according to the Tory Press Spokesman another poll out this weekend. They say it will show a double digit lead.

  32. @ Andrew Myers

    Wow, thanks very much! I’ve always heard claims like these, but I didn’t know that it extended beyond 1997, and had never done the spade-work…

  33. Now the Norwich By-Election is over,a truly strange result it tumed out to be.

    LAB+LIB+GREEN(the left wing of England)= the Conservative vote combined.

    This however throws up 2 scenario’s one frightening for Labour,one terrifying for the Left Wing in England.

    UKIP polled 10%,where did it come from?

    1)Traditional Tory voters from 2005 switched? on the face of it bad news for the Tories, however on closer inspection if they lost votes to UKIP that voted Tory in 2005 Chloe Smith got more left-wing votes than she is being credited for.

    2)Truly nightmare scenario for the left,UKIP votes did not come from Tory voters of 2005,they infact came from left wing voters of 2005.

    Where did they come form?

    In a Safe Labour seat,the right(Tory+UKIP only) got 50% of the vote,

  34. Guys, guys, guys. It’s a by-election. These things happen. It is nice for DC to have maintained his momentum, but other than that it is a lot of heat and noise signifying nothing.

  35. @Neil A

    So true…

    Yet can we infer anything on this for the accuracy of upcoming predictions?

  36. Truly appalling result for Labour who only managed 18% of the vote.

    I can’t remember the last time a sitting government in one of its own safe seats managed to poll this low in a by election.

  37. Truly appalling result for Labour who only managed 18% of the vote.

    I can’t remember the last time a sitting government in one of its own safe seats managed to poll this low in a by election.

  38. “Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has been published and has figures of CON 40%(+2), LAB 24%(+3), LDEM 18%(-1). I don’t have the figures for “others”, but looking at the changes from their last poll we can assume that, like all the other recent polls, they are in decline. ”

    That’s not really a decline, that’s a consistent set of results!

    Sounds like a bit of wishful thinking, if a 1% downward deviation is going to be presented as “chronic decline”!

  39. @ Cynosarges

    “A lot of the “idiocies” in the wording comes from bureaucrats trying to write a single regulation to cover 27 national practices that has to be translated into 23 (?) languages.”

    Which is arguably why the whole concept of the EU is fundamentally silly and bad, and why most of the population has been waiting for a taxi home from the EU party for so many years! (“can we go now!”)

  40. If Labour is only polling 18% in one of its safe seats how on earth are they managing 26-27% nationally?

    There could be one hell of an upset in the next GE!

  41. @JJ

    I think you might have miscalculated there; the 3 “main” parties together have increased their vote-share by 4% in a month. The margin of error tends to be +/-3%, so this is a statistically significant fall in the “Other” vote, from 22% to 18%.

  42. RICH,
    I attended the Norwich North count for Craig Murray.
    A few points occur to me.
    Firstly , on its present boundaries the Tories would have won this seat in 1987 by at least 10000 – and in 1992 by 3000.
    Secondly , from my observations – shared by both Labour and UKIP scrutineers – the UKIP vote came predominantly from strong working class Labour areas polling 20 – 25% in some boxes.
    Finally, I attended the verification of Postal Votes a few days earlier. This was won decisively by Tories by a slightly wider margin than the final result.

  43. GRAHAM

    Thanks a lot for that information,you have cleared up some very important issues.

  44. The tories will pick up 90% of the ukip vote labour is dead thank god

  45. CRAIG,
    I am sure that will not be true of the Norwich North UKIP vote.

  46. @ Craig

    I hope so, but I’m not so sure; their votes were apparently from “working-class Labour” areas. So can the Conservatives pull them in? Perhaps.

    I can’t see UKIP breaking through much in the GE, though; Hague wasn’t exactly successful with “Save the Pound” in 2001, and Farage won’t fight where there are Tory MPs/candidates whose views a close to UKIP’s, i.e. precisely the places where he’d garner many votes.

    Mind you, this “20%” habit from Labour is getting a little hard to break; perhaps UKIP is where some Labour voters will go because they refuse to vote Tory?


    Thie ironic thing is the Tories in 2001 fought on smaller Government & balancing the budget & no more powers to the EU.

    People do not realise the borrowng from Labour started in 2001,not as they like to claim ‘only borrowing due to worldwide Credit Crunch’

    Labour were warned by the EU every year form 2001 until the start of the CC on their excessive deficit,(largest in EU)more to the point Brown was the one being warned,like everyone who critics Brown, he told them they were wrong.

    I believe if the state of things that were present now were present then the Tories would have done much better.

    The problem was not the message from the Tories,it was the Tories were still hated.

    The same will happen to Labour is oppostition,it takes time for the people to get past the hate stage & onto the start listening with respect stage to what is being said.

    I know this myself a true-blue Tory now,i was a New-labour supporter,looking back i can’t believe how blinded by hate for the Tories,i did not listen to the policies that i did agree with,i wasn’t being honest with myself.

    I would never vote Labour again.

    The whole UKIP argument is up in the air at the moment,be in no doubt the world of politics is going to be much different after Oct 2 over the EU question.

    When the Irish vote,a lose lose situation for Labour.

    However the timing of the vote is just a day or two before DC gives his last Conference speech of the term.

    I believe he could win the GE with his speech, if the Irish vote No & he there & thern could spell out when we would have a vote in this country on Lisbon

    If the Irish vote Yes he needs to stick up for Britain not the EU.

    Even people in favour of the LT should want a referendum,unlike other treaties this is self amending,in other words it is the last time we would be asked,they will never require any more treaties.

    Labour & the Libs would be between a rock & a hard place,infact they still would almost certainly pontificate on whether the Irish would have to vote for a 3rd time,and as the wheels of the EU move very slowly they would not be allowed to say it was officially dead,there would be up-roar in this country from voters hearing that & the rest of the EU anti Lisbon Campaign.

    We could go into the May GE not knowing if the Lisbon Treaty was dead.

  48. I hope you’re feeling better, Anthony.

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