Ipsos MORI have conducted a new poll of marginal seats for Reuters. The poll covered marginal seats currently held by Labour, in which the Conservatives need a swing of between 5% and 9% to win (that’s seats with majorities between 10% and 18%, so some pretty distant hopes in some cases – the top end of that scale will be places like Bridgend and Blackpool South. To get a majority the Conservatives need a swing of about 7%, so this sample of seats is either side of that.)

Current voting intention stands at CON 37%, LAB 41%. This represents a five point swing from Labour to the Conservatives. In comparison MORI’s last national poll showed a swing to the Conservatives of four percent, so as with all the other polling we’ve seen of Lab/Con marginal seats, the Tories are slightly outperforming their national swing… though not by that much.

Depending on where the cut off point was, a five point swing might not be enough for the Conservatives to win any of these particular seats polled! With the polls narrowing the battleground is now seats slightly more marginal than these. The poll was conducted over the weekend, so is entirely before the budget.

UPDATE: The full tables for MORI’s poll are here. A few other interesting findings. The Lib Dem share of support in these seats was 11%, but of that 77% said they might change their mind. It suggests some potential for tactical voting, but for it to happen people probably need to think their seats are marginals.

MORI did indeed ask people if they lived in a marginal seat, 30% said they did not, and 45% didn’t know. Of course given that these are seats with majorities of between 10% and 18%, this isn’t a huge surprise. By most historical definitions these aren’t marginals! There was no second choice question in this poll, so we can’t say who would benefit from tactical voting if it did happen. The closest are the final questions which asked people what outcome voters thought would be best for the economy. Amongst Lib Dem voters 53% thought a Conservative majority or hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest would be best, 30% thought a Labour majority or hung Parliament with Labour the largest party would be best.

The purpose of the question, incidentally, was to test people’s reaction to the idea a hung Parliament would damage international confidence in the UK’s economy, and the result was that it didn’t really seem to figure highly in people’s preferences. 28% of people thought a hung Parliament would be best for the economy, 23% thought it would be best for international confidence in the economy – lower, but not vastly so.

324 Responses to “MORI poll of marginal seats”

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  1. Bill Roy

    Don’t be sarcastic!!!

  2. My sister’s boyfriend is a Pole. He votes in UK Elections.

    Other news, Roland Haines has gout attack and sacks gardener for radical political activities (supporting Lib Dems.)

  4. Also a quick point on some of the earlier post about a bloated and overpaid public sector. I have a very good contact in the public sector. They work in a tier below management level. Not only do they earn peanuts and work flat out, but their pay settlements have been very poor (frozon this year, with redundancies; and well below inflation for the past 3 years). However, at middle management level, large pay increases have been commonplace, and at executive level, outrageous. Do you know that the head of leisure services where this contact works earns over 130,000GBP per year. And that last year the exec voted themselves a 15% pay rise?
    The point I’m making is that the wastage and bloating is at the upper middle managemnent and exec level. Not at the lower or junior management levels. Most people at the lower ends work for less that 20k a year (in London). And they are the ones facing “cuts” and redundancies.
    So before anyone talks about how close labour is to the unions, and how this has bloated public pay, think about this.

  5. Eoin

    I agree a Tory majority does seem along way off now.

    Though it is worth remembering we have not actually started the campaign yet. Anything can happen.

    The TV debates will be crucial. They seemed a risk to DC when he accepted the offer. Now I think he has nothing to lose.

    The Tory campaign will be either a disaster or a amazing sucess.I have a feeling I know what it will be….but I am trying to say positive…!

  6. @ Eoin

    ” Darling has managed to avoid damage from the polls….”

    Blimey, that’s a swift change of heart!

    You advised us all to wait for the weekend Polls to see the Budget effect-I thought that was good advice.

  7. 37 33 17

  8. News Flash

    **Roland has recovered until Saturday night when YG shows Cons & Lab level pegging** ;-)

  9. @Colin-

    I agree you right…. but I would have been looking for wee hints in this poll especially since its an online panle and the have internet access to news

    but on balance your argument is more accurate than I

    p.s. thanks for the lower case

  10. @ RAF

    “The point I’m making is that the wastage and bloating is at the upper middle managemnent and exec level.”

    I think that is -by & large- a very fair point to make.

    And I think the “waste & bloatage” of some of these jobsworths is absolutely Ginormous.

  11. Its pretty shocking to see even Nick Robinson exposing the myth of Darlings budget.

    25% cuts in departmental budgets with Darling spluttering and wheezing and unable to deny the reality.

    Robinson and the BBC even had to admit that ‘Thatchers cuts’ were a myth – spending actually increased. The fact is there were cuts but only in labours over inflated pre election spending plans.

  12. @Éoin………..far too early to judge effect of budget, it’s the nagging factor. :-)

  13. @ Ken, go raibh maith agat ar an fada (É) :) :)

    I know I was champing at the bit…….. colin was correct to tell me to calm it- It’s just that Sunday seems so far away……..

    Labour would have taken a post budget 37/33 arm and all…

  14. Joseph1832
    The number of new citizens is running at over 150,000 per year – and few are from Europe as they don’t need citizenship to come and work. The bulk of immigration still comes from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with a significant amount coming from Africa

    From ONS site:
    Net inflow to uk in 2007 237000.
    Total from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka = 67000
    Total from European Union = 91000

  15. Having trawled through one of my previous posts, I feel I must apologise for what were ill-conceived, constructed and poorly worded comments regarding the changing demographic, and how this has benefited the Labour party. I now accept that claiming that ‘some women have babies for careers’ was an unwise and and insulting thing to say. As was the general content of the post.

    My sincerest apologies.

  16. @MAtt,

    100% accepted.

  17. @Éoin……………..Ta fáilte romhat. :-)

  18. Matt

    Accepted thanks

  19. “@MAtt,

    100% accepted.”

    Thanks. I realised that I am prone every once in a while – or more often, as the case may be – to talking out of my backside XD.

  20. I’m not even a true Tory – I didn’t vote Tory at the last 2 GEs I have been able to vote in (I went for the Green Party) i.e. I have never voted for the Tories. I’m just a bit of a frustrated voter – I don’t think even the Tories offer a good alternative, if I’m being honest.

    Not that that excuses offensive partisan comments at all.

  21. Rob Hist::


    “Fundamentally the economic crisis shows what is wrong with total free market economics”

    As opposed to what alternative?”

    It’s not free market economics that’s failed, its fundamentalist TOTAL free market economics untempered by pragmatism, social objectives and commonsense.

    We have gotten rid of Christian fundamentalism and Socialism because these faiths collapsed under their own contradictons but we still have “Credo in unum forum.”

    In the last 10 years, Bankers have done more to discredit “TOTAL free market economics than the left has achieved in 30.

    PR and the need for the SNP to present itself as a political party rather than a single issue campaign has brought us what Christian Schmitt described on these pages as “bog standard competent government and a few minor gimmicks.”

    I wish I had thought of that comment myself, not because it is accurate (though it is) but because it shows just how low expectation is and how little you need to do to better the competition.

    NewLabour’s acceptance of the rich and powerful at their own estimation of self-worth and their enthusiasm for any managerial solution that can be turned into a PR opportunity has also discreditd them..

    The dire situation of Scottish Conservatives, their marginally greater independence from London control, and their fading memory of the former dominance in Scotland of one-nation Conservatism has led them to take a more pragmatic positon, and they could look forward to coalition government soon after independence. Already they have welcomed the opporunity to work with one of the right-leaning ministers in the SNP and take a Butskillite stance in regard to the NHS.

    A Conservative UK government can only create problems for Scotish Conservatives. They would be better off with Labour at Westminster.

  22. Joseph1832

    How would you feel about relying less on prejudicial anecdotes and more on actual figures (See ASH’s figures from the ONS) before making correlations between immigration and the Labour vote?

  23. I note from the tables that the figures favour:
    Labour voters ‘definitely will vote’ higher than the Conservatives ‘definitely to vote.’
    Thought Conservatives ‘definitely to vote ‘was mostly higher than ‘Labour defintely to vote.’

  24. AW

    Any thoughts on this comment I made at PB?

    I don’t see how MORI can make comparisons with actual past voting in their headlines when their polls are not weighted for past voting:

    “The survey took place in seats where Labour held leads of between 10% and 18% at the 2005 general election and the poll topline of C37-L41 represents a 5% swing to the Tories. With marginals’ polls you always have to look at the baseline from last time and work back from there.”

    But as its a MORI poll you have to take into account that they don’t weight by past voting record and as usual MORI has overpolled Labour and underpolled the Conservatives and LibDems.

    On the 10/10 certain to vote:

    Lab 254
    Con 133
    LD 43

    Lab 197 -57
    Con 176 +43
    LD 52 -9

    That’s a 9% swing

    On the total sample:

    Lab 402
    Con 182
    LD 73

    Lab 314 -88
    Con 288 +106
    LD 96 +23

    That’s a 13% swing.

    I can’t work out a swing due to insufficent info on the 8-10 likely to vote (which would equal a 67% turnout) but on this band the Conservatives actually have a lead:

    Con 235 129% of 2005 vote
    Lab 234 58% of 2005 vote
    LD 75 103% of 2005 vote

    Now perhaps MORI’s methodolgy has various knock on effects but that lack of vote retention by Labour looks disasterous.

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