The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard is out today, with topline figures of CON 33%(-1), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 13%(+4), GRN 6%(-1). Changes are from a month ago and show little of significance – the only large movement is a four point increase for UKIP, which is likely a reversion to the mean after an odd looking 9% in last month’s poll.

The tables aren’t up on the MORI website as I write (though MORI are usually very swift, so they may well be by the time you read this) though the Standard’s write up is here. The rest of the poll seems to have largely concentrated on looking towards the budget, and has some generally positive findings for George Osborne. 56% are now saying the government are doing a good job on the economy and Osborne’s own approval rating as Chancellor is 43%. That’s high by the standards of Tory Chancellors… but lower than Gordon Brown had for almost the whole time he was at Number 11.

395 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 33, LAB 34, LD 8, UKIP 13, GRN 6”

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  1. Twas the Daily Mail wot won it….for Miliband :)


  2. If UKIP have increased this time, it cannot be down to the change in weighting from the start of February.

    It could be down to MoE variation with them and the Conservatives, which I think is the most likely explanation. I look forward to Monday’s Populus poll with an unusual degree of interest however!

  3. @Polltroll – keep with it. I have some experience with such health issues (not me, but a very close person to me) and as @R&D says, all things change.

  4. Also for anyone interested, the result of the Sheffield Students’ Union presidential election last night:


    McMorrow: 1496 (29.2%)
    Sutton-Klein: 1104 (21.6%)
    Bell: 876 (17.2%)
    Foster: 664 (13.0%)
    Lokkit: 660 (12.9%)
    Ferrington: 212 (4.2%)
    RON: 97 (1.9%)

    RON and Adam Ferrington eliminated.


    McMorrow: 1516
    Sutton-Klein: 1127
    Bell: 913
    Foster: 710
    Lokkit: 682

    Bee Lokkit eliminated.


    McMorrow: 1593
    Sutton-Klein: 1210
    Bell: 977
    Foster: 772

    Marcus Foster eliminated.


    McMorrow: 1725
    Sutton-Klein: 1379
    Bell: 1146

    Max Bell eliminated.


    McMorrow: 2117
    Sutton-Klein: 1715

    Christy McMorrow elected.

    So, we lost, and the exit polls were badly wrong. Ah well. You win some, you lose some.

  5. gives the following prediction for Westminster to Prof. C’s latest poll of polls:

    Lab 10
    LD 1
    SNP 47
    Con 1


    Bad luck with the election. The one in May is the most important though!

    The appearance of RON brings back student memories…I wonder how many seats the RON party would win if they stood in General Elections.

  7. If this Labour ‘meltdown’ continues they will be back in Government in around 8 weeks.
    Seriously I agree with others on here who are saying there is very little movement in the polls, at the best we have a tightening, maybe conservatives moving ahead, maybe not. People need to be a little more restrained at the odd poll or two that may give different results.

  8. Crikey. That Populus is a bit of a shocker, isn’t it?

    Are they shortly going to finally deliver me my long predicted nightmare poll of Tories, Labour and UKIP all in the 20s??

  9. Re Populus,

    WTF – need rescuing by someone who can explain how this is possible.

  10. @Mr N

    Shouldn’t you be smoking pot or sniffing glue? Apparently this is de rigeur for politicians in Scotland, and the Scots, so we are told, are the vanguard of all things modern?

    Not that I’m actually encouraging substance abuse, but from experience I’d say student politics is more addictive than most chemicals and possibly more debilitating. You need to get out more, and I don’t mean knocking doors in Dore.

  11. @Alec

    I understand the construction sector to be having to deal with shortage of both skills and materials.

    The recovery is rather urban and based in the south east and the larger cities (and not all of those, either). That’s why voters outside those areas are very sceptical of whether recovery is even happening. It is, but it’s not happening for them.

    The appearance of RON brings back student memories.

    No to me it doesn’t. I don’t remember it from the 60s.

    Is it a recent innovation, only used by some unis or have those particular brain cells just gone the way of all flesh?

  13. @Richard

    Has immigration been out of the news? The Populus looks like a one-off in several ways. But…. it does remind us that when the polls are predicting a close result it might not take much of an event to swing the election one way or the other. The single set of trade-figures that did for Wilson in 1970 and the Cleggmania that perhaps stole away Cameron’s majority are examples.

    We’ve got too used to foregone conclusion elections through the Thatcher/Blair years when events might change the result numerically but not qualitatively. It’s different now, and,though this is probably a Farage mirage, a small event can now have big consequences.

  14. @PostageIncluded

    I am one of Crossbat’s leaf blades that gets excited by one off poll movements, so you have to forgive me….

    But Farage did have wall to wall coverage across the news all day yesterday, and the Daily Mail website, one of the most read…had big splashes, continuing today praising Farage , example

    “Nigel Farage finds himself embroiled in yet another bogus race row simply for having the audacity to challenge the cosy consensus of our arrogant political elite.”

    And we saw what happened in by elections once Farage gets in the news – UKIP VI goes north….

    So I think this is a real movement….

    Farage said he was sitting it out, waiting for Cameron and Miliband to rain the negative coverage all over each other until we were completely fed up of them both, then he would come in like a breathe of fresh air…and it looks like he has played it quite well. so far.

    Of course most people think UKIP are toxic, so it won’t really mean many more UKIP MP’s for them if he succeeds.

  15. @postageincluded

    Perhaps it’s already happened. If it wasn’t for Scotland, Labour would be ahead in both current polling (by the extra ~2% in GB vote share lost in Scotland) and current seat projections (30 seats better off). Even the swing models would give an extra 20 seats or so, giving a neck and neck forecast.

    Of course, the SNP advance may not make much difference overall if Labour can at least finish close behind in seats. But I think it is having a bad effect on Labour psychologically. It makes Labour feel like they are losing ground, even if the Tories aren’t actually doing anything themselves to create that impression.

  16. @Postage Included

    I thought it was the substitution of Bobby Charlton that did for Wilson in 70. :-)

  17. The Populus poll is not really a surprise given that the polling window seems to include Farage’s support for repealing racial discrimination laws.

    Before UKIP killed the BNP vote a few years ago, there was a number of polls by Yougov and others showing that 20-25% of the population would consider voting BNP if they could win the election (i.e. our first past the post system suppresses our far right vote, otherwise we would have similar support to European nations with a more proportional systems and a high far right vote).

    A Sky News/Yougov poll suggested that about a third would support expatriating 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants (ie native born Brits).

    I can’t search for links easily on my phone but I would suggest searching for Yougov polls for Sky News and the Telegraph which I remember were two polls showing the findings above.

  18. I believe the wording re British born immigrants was “should be encouraged to leave” as opposed to forced expatriation.

  19. @JP

    Not the poll you were referring to, but similar questions

    Would you describe yourself as very prejudiced against people of other races, a little prejudiced, or not prejudiced at all?
    Very prejudiced against people of other races 1%
    A little prejudiced against people of other race 26%

    Do you personally have views that you think are racist?
    Yes, I have some views that are racist 16%

  20. In case some of you think the right wing press have it in for EM, have a look at this in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant (a left leaning paper by the way).

    The article is actually about the two kitchens and is EM-supportive. Perhaps the photo is designed to demonstrate why the image is a problem, it certainly has me ‘beat’.

    On Populus, will our experts tell us if they consider the weighting to be ‘more like it’ or otherwise.please? This is aimed at my favourite chewing gum person or our Manxman, given that AW will be naturally shy of expressing an opinion on a colleague company.

  21. @JP

    I would not be at all surprised. A large proportion of the good old British public hold quite extreme views. As a councillor, I found some people and sometimes whole areas, very difficult to speak for. It seems to me that our much derided politicians are in general better people than those they represent.

  22. @Richard – interesting view of UKIP’s possible strategy, and probably not too far from the truth.

    I remain somewhat baffled by the treatment given to UKIP and NF’s statements, and I’ve felt for some time that this is counter productive. I should also say that I don’t believe this Populus poll is much to do with anything other than normal poll wobbles, so best not to connect what I am saying here to any specific poll.

    The debate over Farage’s comments on race and employment seem to be a fairly standard synthetic shouting match that will probably benefit UKIP overall. While I know the C4 clip shows Farage making a statement over race laws, not having seen the context, it’s a bit hard to judge precisely what was meant.

    Farage himself says his point is that employment laws based on nationality should be scrapped, to allow British workers of all races preferential treatment over those of all races from other nations.

    ‘British jobs for British workers’ was something a reportedly left of centre PM once said recently in the not to distant past. It’s also something that most British voters would probably have some sympathy for.

    This doesn’t mean Farage/UKIP aren’t inherently racist, nut it does mean that to attack them effectively you need to address what is being said on it’s own terms.

    Whether the knee jerk ‘racist’ response is justified this time we will have to wait and see, but the default attack position when it comes to UKIP is to use the ‘R’ word early and often. At the same time, many of the people resorting to such attacks also say how they support curbs on immigration, British jobs for British workers, pretending they want to sort out/leave the EU etc etc. The two approaches don’t often match up.

    It’s my belief that this is why UKIP’s vote seem rather resilient. Opponents are not engaging with the substance of what they are saying but rather lazily dismissing them as racist, before trotting off and confirming their supporters concerns by promising similar things.

  23. @JP, this one has similar questions, but more recent, from May 2014

    The Government should encourage immigrants and their families to leave Britain (including family members who were born in Britain)
    Strongly agree 10%
    Agree 16%

    For UKIP that is 25% Strongly Agree, 26% Agree.

    Most crimes in Britain are committed by immigrants
    Strongly agree 6%
    Agree 14%

    For UKIP that is 17% Strongly Agree, 24% Agree.

    I blame the daily mail. Example recent headline “Muslim-lesbian-tortured-eight-year-old-daughter”

    What did the Muslim or lesbian have to do with the fact that she was a criminal? Pure race/etc baiting, should be made illegal.

  24. I know we don’t generally discuss Scottish affairs on here, but for those who are interested, the BBC is replaying realtime online coverage of the 1990 Scotland – England Grand Slam match –

    One of the epic encounters, with the ‘foregone conclusion’ turning out to be somewhat premature. I wasn’t at the game, but members of my family were, and they very kindly purchased me a souvenir ‘England Grand Slam 1990’ tie from some of the English vendors outside the ground. Apparently after 80 minutes the prices of these wares were somewhat reduced.

    Happy days. (37 minutes gone – Chalmers has just extended Scotland’s lead to 9-4. Half time soon, and we all know what happened as soon as they got back onto the park]……

  25. Alec
    I think you may be right about the possibly ineffective tactics of UKIP opponents. A substantial proportion of voters would like to see the back of certain ethnic groups, whether they were born here or otherwise. So as the former councillor writes above, when canvassing, one comes across views held that are incapable of being supported. The suggested discrimination on grounds of citizenship, although in conflict with the EU treaties, will be of no problem to Farage, since of course once we have left the EU, we would be free to rescind such legislation. This would of course have no effect on our own ethnic minorities, but I would not be surprised if many UKIP VI voters would think it would do.

  26. @Alec:

    Unfortunately my phone makes it difficult to search for the older Yougov polls I referenced above but here is a more recent one that relates to your post:

    59% of UKIP supporters uncomfortable with an ethnic minority PM, including 45% very uncomfortable:

  27. JP
    Snap (sort of). That figure underlines what I posted, thanks.

  28. Interesting to see per yougov the SNP gain from Conservatives when we look at Westminster to Holyrood.

    Interesting SNP have weakened on:
    Preventing another Conservative government?

    Their strength on more powers and the fact for years now we’ve seen a strong public opinion for devo max is probably the main reason for their success (I continue to think this ‘LABOUR STOOD BESIDE TORIES’ and all the Tartan Tory nonsense is just that – nonsense to wind up the other party).

  29. Barbazenzero

    The weighting that’s really odd is the Political Party Identification of SNP (Holyrood) & Lab (Westminster) which weights 40 respondents up to 106, which could give LiS false comfort.

    Arguably, it had some relevance immediately after the 2011 GE but it really seems past its use by date post referendum.

    Not really – the fact that the figure has to be weighted up so much suggests an under-represented group in the sample. In which case you do need to make an adjustment.

    There’s no reason why it should help Labour, though, because these are people who voted[1] Labour in 2010. If anything it’s more likely that they are now SNP voters because they did so in 2011.

    One thing that has changed in the weighting is that YouGov seem to have stopped using the Place of Birth weighting. This was done because the YouGov panel in Scotland contains too many people born outside Scotland and (to simplify) they tend to have different voting patterns from those born inside. If you look at the percentages in the cross-tabs in this poll:

    Scotland 75% (81)

    Rest of the UK 19% (10)

    Outside UK 6% (9)

    (where the figures in brackets are the target percentages used in December). RUK born are almost twice as likely to be in the sample as you would expect from a random one (it was 23% in the unweighted sample). Given that only 25% are Yes voters and 30% SNP supporters in this poll, this obviously can distort things. YouGov have finally decided to weight by referendum vote in this poll[2], but that may not be quite enough to correct the PoB problem as those figures suggest.

    Possibly not using PoB weighting means that the Conservative vote is higher than it should otherwise be in this poll, though it won’t automatically explain the change since the last one[3]. But it does suggest why the daily YouGov cross-tabs are bluer than their dedicated Scottish polls where there will be no adjustment at all (nor should there be as they are looking for all-GB figures).

    [1] I’m assuming this is based on con temporarily recorded voting behaviour rather than Party-id, though YouGov will have both on file.

    [2] Which I’ve been nagging about since October, so thank you as it means I won’t have to keep adjusting things myself and then explaining them to James Kelly.

    [3] I’m not quite sure when they stopped. The December figures adjusted to these targets but the end Jan ones show neither PoB weights nor cross-tabs you could check using. So it may be that the three YouGov polls have used different weightings: Dec PoB; Mar Ref vote; Jan/Feb neither.

  30. ‘contemporaneously’ not ‘con temporarity’. Hit the wrong button on spellcheck.

  31. Just when we were digging Miliband’s grave, we suddenly have three of the last four published opinion polls showing Labour in the lead. I’m almost tempted to say it’s a bit of a laugh, but let’s keep things cerebral, shall we? :-)

    The truth is, and it’s been this way for months, bar the occasional one- off eccentric outlier, that these are utterly dreadful polls for the three mainstream parties. If you’re a Labour, Tory or Lib Dem person, then there is naught for anyone’s comfort here. The Populus poll today may be on the edges of MOE, although it doesn’t appear way out of kilter, but just look at what it’s saying. Less than two months away from a General Election, it has the combined Labour/Lib Dem/Tory aggregate score on 69%. 31% for UKIP/Greens/SNP/Others!!!

    I haven’t got back to check all the figures yet, but I would think that at this stage in the electoral cycle in previous post war Parliaments, that combined Labour/Lib Dem/Tory score would have been around the 90% mark, maybe even higher. 69% is quite extraordinary.

    I’ve had a queasy feeling for some time that the more the electorate come to see of our mainstream politicians, the less they like them and that when the real campaigning started the potential for further disillusionment would be greater than the possibility of garnered support. Early signs support my baleful hunch and while I won’t get into what I thought about Question Time and Neil’s show last night, I can’t think of a single person who would have felt more kindly about our politicians, or more positive about our politics, having watched them. I felt I almost heard the noise of bricks hitting TV screens in thousands of households all over the country.

    That said, I exempt Alan Johnson from it all. Politicians of all political colours should take a long look at him and learn.


    It was widely used at Oxford in the late 1990s (and still is) including at the Oxford Union.

    The idea is to stop the useless being elected unopposed.

    I believe that compulsory voting plus Re-Open Nominations would be a great innovation as it would allow people to express displeasure without the futile gesture of spoiling their ballot paper.

  33. @ Jim Jam,

    Re Populus,

    WTF – need rescuing by someone who can explain how this is possible.

    It’s a Populus poll. :p

    Although even by their usual standards this one looks exceptionally bogus. The red team will be happy to see the increase in their polling average, though!

    @ Bristolian Howard,

    2010 recall weighings were actually remarkably accurate this week (maybe this is what the Populus panel looks like when they get this right???) but their unweighed sample was very Conservative-heavy, and any time you have to reweigh heavily you risk distortions. Kippers also had higher likelihood to vote than anyone else. I don’t know if Populus actually use that to calculate their topline figures, but if so it would push the result toward Ukip.

    Right now my money is on “rogue poll”, but I guess we’ll see over the next few days whether ole Nige has played a blinder with his bold stance against anti-racism.

  34. @ Richard

    I blame the daily mail. Example recent headline “Muslim-lesbian-tortured-eight-year-old-daughter”

    What did the Muslim or lesbian have to do with the fact that she was a criminal? Pure race/etc baiting, should be made illegal.

    Very well put.

    That demonstrates racist language at it’s worst.

    And UKIP supporters, according the figures on here, tend to ‘fall for’ such nonsense in greater numbers than the rest of the populace.

  35. Have we posted that great Eric Forth quote yet?

    “There are millions of people in this country who are white, Anglo-Saxon and bigoted and they need to be represented.”

    Perhaps his dream will finally be realised!

  36. I wonder if the Daily Mail (etc..) has ever had a headline like this :

    “Muslim doctor saves childs life”.

    “Black lesbians take children on school trip”


    Of course not.

    They drop references to a persons race/religion/gender when it suits them. It is a racist newspaper.

  37. To be fair to Populus, their Lib Lab Con UKIP figures are now pretty close to YouGov’ now they have changed their weightings.

    I don’t think they can be dismissed as hokey.

  38. @ Mr. Nameless,

    Commiserations. It’s hard to take on the Trendy Left in student politics. (Although I confess I was rooting for the Odd Foreign Candidate based on his amazing campaign video.)

    I’m rather pleased that Sutton-Klein did so well, as some of the things I’ve seen coming out of student politics lately had made me wonder if she might struggle for reasons totally unrelated to her policies, whatever those might be.

    Better luck in May!


    Fair comment and I agree with you entirely re PoB.

    The SNP (Holyrood) & Lab (Westminster) group are obviously “special”, but personally I would be more interested interested in their numbers and journey over a longer term, say 2005-2007-2010-2011-2015, rather than the 2010/2011 snapshot alone.

  40. Barbazenzero

    [Scotland Votes] gives the following prediction for Westminster to Prof. C’s latest poll of polls:

    Lab 10
    LD 1
    SNP 47
    Con 1

    Assuming that these are the same ten Labour seats that Anthony’s seat calculator works out, we have Ashcroft polling for most of them:

    Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill SNP +3

    East Renfrewshire Lab +1

    Glasgow North East E Lab +7

    Glasgow South West SNP +3

    Glenrothes [not polled]

    Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath SNP +6

    Motherwell & Wishaw SNP +11

    Paisley & Renfrewshire South SNP +8

    Rutherglen and Hamilton West [not polled]

    West Dunbartonshire SNP +9

    Given that Ashcroft’s polling may be flattering to Labour because of its past vote weighting, it doesn’t suggest that even these ten can be relied on not to fall (the same applies to the Conservative DCT as well of course).

  41. CROSSBAT11
    I’ve had a queasy feeling for some time that the more the electorate come to see of our mainstream politicians, the less they like them and that when the real campaigning started the potential for further disillusionment would be greater than the possibility of garnered support.

    I’m sure many Con, Lab & LD candidates are queasy but why should you be?

    Isn’t it good that fewer of us “know our place” in society and don’t believe that the establishment are worth doffing our virtual caps to? OTOH, I fear the numbers will have to go below 50% before Con & Lab will accept the need for constitutional change.

  42. At the same point in March 2010 three polls gave the Tories leads of 4% – 7% – 3% respectively – an average of 4.7%. Eight weeks later the result was a Con lead of 7.3% – a swing to the Opposition of 1.3%.In other words swingback was pretty well at its peak.
    Going back further to the June 1987 election. Eight weeks before polling day NOP put the Tories 15% ahead – the actual result was a Tory lead of 11.8% – ie a swing to the Opposition of 1.6%.Again swingback had peaked!

    Assuming that these are the same ten Labour seats that Anthony’s seat calculator works out, we have Ashcroft polling for most of them

    All of them. They’re all missing from ScotlandVotes’ list of Seats changing hands with Prof. C’s numbers.

  44. Graham,

    Coalition makes things difference as the Cons have the line ‘ give a chance to go alone or at least strengthen our hand’

    Those pesky Lds held us back

  45. new thread

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