Earlier on today Ipsos MORI published their monthly poll for the Standard. Topline referendum figures were REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 37%, Don’t know or won’t vote 8%. This is the largest lead we’ve seen for Remain yet, but normal caveats apply – never get too excited about a single poll showing an unusual result. The ORB poll in the week also showed movement towards Remain, as did YouGov this morning… but the last TNS and ICM polls showed movement in the opposite direction, so there is no consistent trend.

Two interesting things about the MORI data. One is that the sheer size of the lead is down to the “squeeze question”, the question asked to those people who initially said don’t know asking which way they are most inclined to vote. Those people split 50%-14% in favour of remain, turning a 13 point lead for Remain into an 18 point lead.

The other thing is the Tories. Conservative voters in the sample split almost 2-to-1 in favour of Remain. Conservatives splitting in favour of remaining is not necessarily remarkable (the ORB and ICM telephone polls this week had the same), but the size of the Tory lead among Tory voters seems remarkable.

Meanwhile general election voting intention stands at CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%. Full details are here.

134 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 37%”

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  1. ” creaking NHS because all are under immense pressure due to mass immigration…

    Nothing to do with an aging population? As a frequent user of the NHS (I have a spinal injury), my experience is that it relies on immigrants to keep it going and the main cause of strain is care of the elderly (which is exacerbated by successive Westminster Governments cutting spending on local Government which hits Adult Social Care).

    A number of issues raised in this thread have reaffirmed my belief that many of the problems attributed to being a member of the EU are not that clear cut and more down to the UK government’s policies.

  2. @Robert Newark

    ‘The point of my original post was to highlight the anarchy which happens in Europe, with the apparent connivance of the police. That could never happen in the Uk. ‘

    I think after the on-going Hillsborough cover-up we would be wise not to hold the UK police up as a model of probity and honesty…

    @Allan Christie
    ‘where the UK has been subjected to 800,000 economic migrants just last year alone!!’

    Total immigration to the UK for the purpose of work for the year ended 30th September 2015 per ONS was 290,000.
    Even total immigration (including EU and non-EU, for work, study or even return of UK emigrants, and ignoring all emigration) was 617,000.

    Where on earth does 800,000 economic migrants come from? Unless we choose to total ignore ONS data it appear to be massively overstated…

  3. Roger Mexico
    I really appreciate your thoughtful posts
    +4 to_2 seems a very big shift
    and how many of these alterations are based on unproven subjective judgement?-I have no idea
    At the moment it is impossible to know if they are making the right call
    Incidentally re mason etc i do not know their economic backgrounds but at least they give an alternative vision
    and music is very closely linked to maths!
    Another son did music at uni but his other A levels were maths further maths and physics-A’s in all!
    which means he stands more chance of grasping “proper” economics than many commentators-and the chancellor and pm!
    re Noreena Herzt I have never seen her so cant judge
    but she’s not an ivory towered academic if you read her cv and most certainly Knows her stuff better than Finklestein who is basically a political speech writer and is very shallow on economics
    I have no idea if she will be good or terrible but it is refreshing for a news channel to take a risk and to move away from the usual hacks with history, business studies or politics degrees to someone with some knowledge of the subject they are to discuss

  4. How come polls giving leave a lead aren’t mentioned ?

    Come on the polls are all over the place and the referendum result is virtually impossible to predict.

  5. Migrant bashing is sooo vulgar and so baseless and so Britain First.

  6. @EOTW

    Regarding your aging population post.

    You are quite right. There are several elephants in the room, one of which is an aging population. If, as some say, ‘Britain is full’, that has implications.

    1) A decreasing group of working age people will have to pay increasing taxes so a constantly growing group of retired with more complex and expensive needs are looked after


    2) The increasing needs of older demographics are not met, and have to make do with what working people think they can afford to pay in taxes


    3) People will have to work until they drop dead of old age

    A solution may be a combination of those, but neither look like vote winners, and the biggest group of voters will be those least willing to vote to change the status quo.

    The aging population vs immigration conundrum is something UK mainstream politics hasn’t even begun to address. They don’t the language, ideas or willingness to upset the status quo to do this.

    Of course, the issues in the UK are not unique. Across the world growing populations and the increasing use of scarce resources will become a real biting point. The additional driver of climate change will make like exceeding difficult, especially in developing regions. How can the massive movements of populations be stopped, as people struggle? Globalisation has created the channels for people to move around easily.

    I am in my forties, with children under ten. My mother’s generation will be long gone before the these problems really come to a head. My generation might escape the worst of it. My children’s generation will be the one to pick up the mess we will bequeath them.

    Maybe I’m being too pessimistic, but I don’t think the current political system we have, or the people who populate have the first idea what to do. They will cling to the status quo, trying push ‘easy’ solutions aimed principally at protecting their own tribes, and thus their own voting base.

    In my opinion :-)


    I am a little older with kids in their twenties and a teenager. I don’t even want to think about what the future holds for them.

  8. Catmanjeff and Eotw
    I am older still with kids in 20s and 30s and you are absolutely right
    The system at the moment just works as a sticking plaster
    Really big changes and ways of thinking are needed to make the future worth something to our kids and no politician dares do that
    To be fair they cant as any deviation from accepted middle of the road ideas are attacked mercilessly and mocked by the media.
    We need to start thinking outside the box

  9. Woohoo my polling card has come through, still no idea which way I’ll vote though.

  10. @ Tully

    I think it is a decided advantage to Paul Mason not to have studied mainstream economics at university. You may not be aware that there is a student revolt being staged in many economics depts across the globe. They’re protesting at the narrowness of the courses which for the last three decades have only taught neoclassical/neokeynesian models. They are demanding to be taught alternative heterodox economics like Steve Keen etc Marx and Keynes.

    Unfortunately, people of Noreena Hertz age-group tend to be seeped in Ricardian equivalences, the Laffer curve, the NAIRU, George Osborne’s Expansionary Fiscal Contraction and other unverified, rather improbable models.

    I’d far rather rely on a Paul Mason because he is clearly a lateral thinker and been exposed to all sorts of economic thinking.

  11. I believe the tide has turned in favour of ‘Remain’ and am going to get a forecast in early: Remain by 9%! That ‘bufoon’ called Johnson has done everything I hoped.

  12. ‘Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov until this year, said his old firm was currently getting the race wrong because it only conducted online polls. He said these surveys included too many Ukip voters. “On the great majority of issues, online and telephone polls produce comparable results,” he said. “However, the EU referendum is one of that minority of occasions when there is a significant difference; so far, telephone polls seem to generate more accurate results. We shall see whether the online polls acknowledge this and make further changes to their methods.” But told of the comments, Stephan Shakespeare, the CEO and founder of YouGov, replied: “Is this the same Peter Kellner who got [the 2015 general election] wrong? Which we’ve fixed…”’


    This is so funny…pass the popcorn.


    One observation on today’s polls: Jeremy Corbyn has overall a better approval rating, but Cameron is more popular with Tories than Corbyn is with Labour voters. So one presumes there are Conservatives who are “satisfied” with Jeremy Corbyn’s perceived unelectability.

    It’s more complicated than that. They both have the same approval (31%), but the number disapproving of Cameron is higher (61% v 50%), so Corbyn has the better nett rating (-19 v -30) though both are much lower than last month when it was -5 v -19. Cameron’s fall may be do to the divisive EU campaign, Corbyn’s over misperceptions about the local election results (which were actually very good).

    Corbyn is slightly more popular with Tories (21-65) than Cameron with Labour (12-81), but most of this is probably not due to delight in Corbyn’s ‘unelectability’ (most people aren’t that politically sophisticated in the same way that most people don’t read polling sites). It is more to do with Cameron being better known, but also something to do with how MORI ask the questions – it seems to be a long-standing effect with opposition leaders and Corbyn has been in the same situation since at least January. Corbyn also does better among Others/DKs (-31 v -50) than Cameron, though Cameron is less unpopular with Lib Dems and UKIP.

    MORI also highlight:


    that Corbyn is actually doing better as being ‘ready to be Prime Minister’ than Miliband was doing at the same time in the last parliament, though neither figure is that impressive (22% v 17%). Paradoxically Labour being “ready to form the next government” is doing worse (27% v 31%). Which rather suggests that the bigger problem isn’t the leader but those trying to get rid of him.


    What proportion of young people vote (under 30s). Polls show them voting in the 60-75% range which is just not going to happen, if they didnt vote in this volume in the GE there is no way they will in a referendum.

    You’re confusing two things which is the proportion of people who vote and the proportion of people who respond to polls who vote. The latter is always much higher because the sort of people who don’t vote are also the sort who don’t join online panels or say “No thank you” when a pollster rings (phone response rates are only about 5%).

    So people in polls are not only much more likely to say they will vote, they are more likely to do so. This applies to all sorts of elections, especially lower turnout ones. For example when YouGov did a follow up poll on the Welsh Assembly asking if people had voted that day:


    77% said that they had. Yet the actual turnout in the election was only 45%.

    Pollsters don’t mind this in general (people who don’t vote, all don’t vote the same way), but problems can arise in the relative proportions that there are in the polls between different groups and if the sort of people who respond to polls are unrepresentative of those who do vote. This may be a particular difficulty with younger voters.

  15. @ Michael Siva

    Thanks for that. The article by Andy Morris of YouGov is the first serious attempt I’ve seen to advocate the greater accuracy of Online Polls over Phone polls. His argument is basically that Phone polls have too many graduates in their respondents, and that higher educational level is the best predictor of supporting Remain.

    But I do wonder if this stands up when you examine the Phone /Online difference from the 2015GE, or indeed those elections which took place in 2014 or 2016. As I pointed out some days ago, the online polls prior to 7/5/15 put UKIP 3.75% higher than the Phone polls. So if the aim had been to measure the difference between UKIP and ‘Not UKIP’, the gap would have been 7-8 points.

    Now we know that the actual 2015 result was between the two, but about two-thirds of the way to what Phone polls were telling us. The obvious question is whether those 2015GE Online polls had the right number of graduates: or was their overstatement of UKIP caused by having too few graduates?

  16. CatManJeff – “The aging population vs immigration conundrum is something UK mainstream politics” hasn’t even begun to address.”

    They’re trying, but not in an explicit way.

    Basically, prior to the introduction of tax credits in 2002, immigration was a great way to deal with the problem, because everyone earning more than £6500 was a taxpayer.

    With the intro of tax credits, plus the increase in the personal tax-free allowance to £10500, the “break-even” earnings are now much higher. For people wanting to bring in a non-EU spouse, the govt insists you have an income of £18,600. I suspect that is the break-even amount. Any EU workers earning less than that are likely to be a net drain.

    So there are two ways to deal with this – a) abolish tax-credits, and bingo, the treasury is in the money again. This was Osborne’s plan. Or b) exit the EU and have a points based system like Canada’s where only people earning above the break-even amount come in, and those only in industries which are facing skills shortages. I understand Canada assigns points to age as well – so young people meet the requirements, and old people simply do not.

    I only know about the Canadian system because when Trump got the Republican nomination, their immigration website crashed and Vox wrote an amusing article explaining that most Americans would fail the points based Canadian system and wouldn’t be able to emigrate to Canada after all. See


  17. @ James E

    is there any statistics that show UKIP supporters to be less educated?

    One of the things that makes me laugh regarding the ‘smart’ remainers argument is that it totally ignores the fact that there were far less university places 30 years ago therefore the older leave leaning cohort are by definition less likely to have been to university.

  18. @James E

    How can phone polls consistently have too many graduates when they call randomly? Also given that proportionately a higher number of graduates work, aren’t non-graduates more likely to be free when the pollster calls?

    A better criticism of phone polls is probably that because they take so much longer to carry out and often require massive reweighting to be demographically accurate, they should be more fallible. Evidence those suggests otherwise!

  19. @CANDY

    I am no Gordon Brown hater, he kept us out of the Euro after all but Tax Credits instead of a minimum wage? Surely Tax Credits are just a corporate subsidy?

  20. minimum wage should be living wage.

  21. @ Roger Mexico

    ‘Which rather suggests that the bigger problem isn’t the leader but those trying to get rid of him.’

    :) I wondered if you had seen Stephen Bush’s analysis of the London Mayoral results. His conclusion was along the same lines…. ‘Victory in London was Jeremy Corbyn’s, not Sadiq Khan’s’


  22. “Surely Tax Credits are just a corporate subsidy?”

    A subsidy for companies employing people. A fair analysis would be that it encourages employment, and it pushes down low wages. I wouldn’t be too hasty to declare tax credits an unqualified good or an unqualified bad.

  23. @Syzygy

    “Stephen Bush’s analysis of the London Mayoral results. His conclusion was along the same lines…. ‘Victory in London was Jeremy Corbyn’s, not Sadiq Khan’s.”

    That’s the impression I had at the time and what has made Sadiq Khan’s posturing since all the more balmy.

    The only caveat is that Zac was held back a tad in some outer London boroughs.

  24. @ Raf

    ‘That’s the impression I had at the time and what has made Sadiq Khan’s posturing since all the more balmy.’

    Well if you’re saying it too…! Sad that Sadiq et al can’t give credit (and slack) where credit is due. However, ‘gas lighting’ seems to the Labour Right strategy to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who knows, it may eventually work. They certainly sound balmy in a Sadiq-way a lot of the time.

  25. I just dont buy this, ‘we have so many pensioners so we need to import immigrants to pay their pensions,’ line.

    So what do we do when those immigrants reach pensioner age? Obviously import even more migrants and so on? That is pyramid selling and a grand fraud against the people, without the people ever having a vote on it.

    What population do we want to see in the uk? Currently it is 66m and projected to be 80m by 2040. That is a government projection so t is bound to be an underestimate. Currently, the transport system can’t cope, neither can doctors surgeries, neither can hospital or schools, etc, etc. How will it cope with 100m and rising?

    How on earth will they cope in the future? What will life be like for our grandchildren? It won’t be England as we know it, that’s for sure. As we can’t control our borders, it will happen if we stay in the EU. There is another 140m people who will have the right of abode in the uk from future accession countries. This is far more relevant than any economic argument.

  26. EOTW – “Surely Tax Credits are just a corporate subsidy?”

    Yes, but if it increases corporate activity and you get the money back via corporate tax, there is probably value to it, if activity increases enough. That is how it works in the USA (which invented tax credits and also has high corporate tax – federal corporation tax is 35% for large companies).

    But if they pay their corporation tax in Ireland or Luxembourg etc, in Starbucks fashion, then you lose out. All you can capture is the VAT at the point of sale, but there is a limit as to how much you can put VAT up before people start howling.

    Again it comes down to EU or outside EU. Within the EU to make the numbers work, you need to cancel tax credits and put up VAT. The burden is then squarely on the consumer and employees (including EU migrant employees). Outside the EU, you can collect the corporate tax (pass a law saying profits earned in the UK are to be taxed in the UK), you can collect some VAT, leave tax credits in place but limit non-citizens from getting them, and try to import high earners who contribute more than average in income tax – in other words you can spread taxes across lots of groups to avoid stinging any one.

    This referendum is actually huge for setting our future course and our future solvency – only all the players are discussing silly stuff like whether it will start WW3!

  27. “is there any statistics that show UKIP supporters to be less educated?”



  28. @Robert Newark

    It is to do with the “dependency ratio”.

    Basically people aged 16-64 support both the under 16s and the over 65s. The dependency ratio is the number of dependents per 100 working age people.

    Ours is about 52.

    It is bad if it is too high.- Afghanistan has a dependency ratio of 98 – too many children who have to be fed clothed and educated, and which acts as a drag on their economy (the women can’t work because they have too many children to look after). Japan has a dependency ratio of 65 and rising – too many old people who have to be fed, clothed and given medical care.

    Immigration fixes the second problem – you have a shortfall in births and you only take in enough people to eliminate that shortfall. There isn’t an issue about “what happens when those people get old themselves” – as long as the ratio stays rock steady there is no problem in coping. It is when the ratio starts rising rapidly and you haven’t got the resources to cope that you are in trouble. An alternative to immigration is to get old people to work longer. In Victorian times when the ratio was high due to too many children, they put the children to work.

  29. @Candy

    Shouldn’t that be people aged 18-64, now that education to 18 is compulsory?

    Also, what happens if the immigrants you import have high fertility rates?

    A migrant couple may improve your dependency rate on a arrival, but if they have 3 or more children they will (temporarily at least) make it worse, won’t they?

  30. @NeilA

    I used the world bank’s definition, and I guess they use 16-64 to be able to compare countries. But yes, our ratio worsens once you take into account that education is compulsory till 18 and a good chunk of the population doesn’t start work till 21.

    One consequence of the ageing population, in the absence of immigration or an improved birth rate, may be that we force people to start work earlier and then work later, to earn the money to support the oldies. So a future Britain could very well find itself reversing compulsory education to 18.

    Regarding your other points – yes, it is quite possible that immigrants may choose to have a lot of children. Which is why controlling it so that in each age cohort you only take in the amount needed to meet the shortfall, is important.

    If it is uncontrolled, yes, you could have a problem. If you take in people of the wrong cohort you could have a problem too. For example in future we’ll need more people born in the years 2000-2004 than we’ll need of those born 2010-2014, because the former is a smaller group. But the govt doesn’t bother to control it that finely – it’s very harum-scarum. Moving to a points based system would allow you to target particular years of birth (you could assign more points to people born in shortfall years). At the moment it is a free for all and we’ve no idea if we’re taking in the people we need.

  31. Meant to add – it doesn’t matter if the immigrant family has three children, if the immigrant is born in a shortfall year. Small generations tend to beget small generations, so if the incomers into that cohort tend to have slightly more, it doesn’t make much difference.

    It would make a difference if the immigrant was born in a boom year, because the native boom generation will automatically produce an echo boom and it is not smart to make this worse with an immigrant boom on top.

    Finally, choosing your immigrants by education level usually results in them having smaller families anyway, simply because educated women start their families later.

  32. Candy
    Ok I see understand the scientific explanation you provide although I doubt the Victorians did. Children were put to work at a young age since time immemorial as soon as they could be productive. There was no education in those days, so what else would they do? I doubt someone in government thought about ratios.

    As Neil says, immigrants do breed more as well and whichever way you look at it the population of the U.K. Will continue to increase unless some controls are introduced.

    Freedom of movement in Europe needs re thinking.

  33. @ James E

    “is there any statistics that show UKIP supporters to be less educated?”



    there is nothing in this piece of work that supports your argument.

  34. The article shows commanding LEAVE leads for those with less education, and even larger REMAIN leads for those with the highest levels of education.

    While it’s possible that the opposite might apply in relation to support for UKIP, surely you’d have to accept that it’s unlikely, given that leaving the EU has always been its signature policy?

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