The BBC is reporting a new Ipsos MORI poll with topline results of CON 36%(-7), LAB 24%(-2), LDEM 25%(+8!). So far I can’t find any mention of it elsewhere, and consequently don’t know the fieldwork dates (though I guess from the figures it must have been conducted at a similar time to the other polls that have shown a big conference boost for the Liberal Democrats).

The BBC’s report says this is the first time Labour have been in third place since 1982. I’m assuming that’s referring to just Ipsos-MORI polls. More recently one ICM poll earlier this year put the Lib Dems in second, as did a Populus poll just after the Liberal Democrat conference in 2004.

UPDATE: More details are now up on MORI’s website here The field work dates were September 25th to 27th (that is, Friday to Sunday). According to MORI’s commentatary the big shift is largely down to changing certainty to vote. MORI take only those rating their likelihood of voting as 10/10 for their topline figures, so it can have a dramatic effect.

Monday’s daily figures from YouGov are out. The topline figures with changes from Friday’s figures are CON 39%(-1), LAB 29%(+5), LDEM 20%(-1). The poll was conducted yesterday and today.

That’s a big jump in Labour support for the first day of the conference. It’s probably a combination of normal sample variance, the fading of the Lib Dem publicity bounce and the beginning of publicity from Labour’s own conference. That said, the figures from last Sunday had a high Labour score too, so there’s a possibility that it could be a timing thing: daily polling is a new development and there’s much to learn.

Looking at the other questions, Sky are obviously going to concentrate on the Leaders’ Debate question, which showed 60% of people would like to see a debate during the next election campaign. 77% of people also said they wanted it between all three main party leaders, as opposed to just Brown v Cameron.

Turning to other questions, in the discussion here we’ve occassionally pondered the difference between Brown’s image in other countries as having made a huge contribution to organising the global response to the credit crunch and his atrocious approval ratings in this country. An interesting question is whether this was because people in the UK didn’t think he had made a positive contribution to the global response, or because it is just outweighted by their opinion on his domestic performance.

Today’s YouGov figures suggest that its at least partially the latter. 49% of people agreed that “Gordon Brown has played a significant role in working with other world leaders to tackle the global recession”, including 30% of Conservative voters. This doesn’t stop 65% of people continuing to think that he’s doing a bad job as Prime Minister.

On other questions, on Brown’s future 50% of people said he should be replaced as Labour leader, 36% wanted him to stay on (including the vast majority, 70%, of remaining Labour voters). If he was replaced, YouGov asked whether there should be an immediate election. 46% said “yes, even if this means holding the election in November or December”, 47% said “No […] we are nearing the end of the Parliament and the election must be held by next spring anyway”. It suggests we are getting close enough to the election that Labour could change their leader without a huge clamouring for an immediate dissolution.

Finally the poll also contained a series of “How would you vote if X were leader” questions. All my caveats I made yesterday about this sort of question apply, but these were at least asked on an even footing when it came to likelihood to vote. The figures were:

Jack Straw – Tory lead of 6
Alan Johnson – Tory lead of 8
David Miliband – Tory lead of 9
Normal unprompted question – Tory lead of 10
Harriet Harman – Tory lead of 13
Ed Miliband – Tory lead of 14

In terms of comparative performance, it’s not too different from ComRes’s findings. I suspect it is not co-incidence though that Jack Straw is probably the best known of these politicians, and Ed Miliband probably the least known (though it’s pretty damning for Harriet Harman, who doesn’t have the excuse of being low profile).


There is a new Populus poll in the Times. They found 51% thought it would be better for Labour if Gordon Brown “quit with dignity”, 43% think it would be better if he stayed.

47% of people said the Gordon Brown would deserve “only a little credit” for any economic recovery, 27% said it would deserve no credit at all.

Asked how they would react if the economy improved, 73% of people said it would make no difference to their vote, 20% said they would be more likely to vote Labour, 6% less less likely. Regular readers will know I am not a fan of questions like this, since people who are more likely are often voting for that party anyway (in this case 36% of people already voting Labour said they would be more likely to if the economy recovered) and people saying less likely may not be voting Labour anyway.

In this case it’s doubly hard to interpret, since the potential positive effect (people being grateful to the government, or the government proving its actions were correct after all) are comparatively easy for people to visualise. The potential negative effect (a decrease in risk aversion and increased appetite for a change of government) is less easy to visualise. How voting intention will be impacted by an improvement in the economy is one of the great unanswered political questions in the time remaining before the election, but I’m afraid it’s one that polls really can’t do a very good job at answering.

There are no voting intention figures, but it’s a new poll, carried out over the weekend, and with a full sample of 1000 people – so potentially we could have some voting intention figures tomorrow.

The daily conference polling from YouGov also contains various ad hoc questions (for example, this morning we are asking about whether Andrew Marr was right to ask Gordon Brown whether he was taking prescription drugs).

For the last week YouGov mainly used it to ask tracker style questions we could come back to again later in the conference. A couple of interesting ones are worth highlighting.

Firstly last Tuesday YouGov asked about the Liberal Democrat “mansion tax” and found strong support for it. 34% supported it strongly, 35% somewhat. A total of 24% opposed it.

Secondly, on Monday YouGov re-asked a series of questions about the positive attributes of each party leader that they last asked way back when Gordon Brown first became leader (and again in April 2008).

It again showed how much perceptions of Gordon Brown have fallen. Back in October 2007 during the Brown bounce 37% though he was decisive, by April 2008 that had fallen to 14%. Now it is only 9%. 40% thought he was strong in October 2007, by April 2008 it was 18%, now it is 11%. Only 3% think he is a natural leader, only 1% think he is charistmatic. The areas where Brown’s ratings have been most robust are honesty, at 16% compared to 22% in October 2007, and “sticks to what he believes in” which is at 29%, from 40% in October 2007.

In contrast, David Cameron has grown in stature in those areas that were once where he lagged badly behind Brown. 20% now think he is decisive, compared to 14% in Oct 2007 and April 2008. 18% think he is strong, up from 12% in Oct 07 & Apr 08. On other figures, like charismatic, natural leader, honesty and so on there is less of a change since April 2008, some up a point or two, some down a point or two.

Finally there is Nick Clegg, who wasn’t asked about in April 2008 (and obviously wasn’t in 2007). His strongest ratings were being in touch with ordinary people (20%) and being honest (20%). The highest rating however was don’t know (36%), suggesting he is a still an unknown quantity to many people.

(Note that these questions where asked by giving people a list of attributes and asking them to tick all that apply, hence the much lower figures than the Populus conference poll which asked people to give a seperate answer for each attribute)

YouGov are carrying out genuine daily voting intention polls throughout the conference season. The first week’s figures for the Lib Dem conference are up on the YouGov website here now (hopefully – it’s IP blocked until we pass the embargo at 10.15!), and for the next two weeks they’ll go out daily there and on Sky News at 5pm. As well as voting intention, there will be daily topical questions on whatever issues arise at the conferences.

In the past daily polling has almost always been a “rolling poll”, so each day’s sample was actually made up of a couple of days small samples, with the oldest one dropping off each day to be replaced by new data. Each day’s YouGov poll is a completely new sample of 1000 people (less than the normal YouGov sample of 2000, to make sure we don’t start asking people too regularly). They are also being carried out in just 24 hours, so the data published on Monday was all collected on Sunday and Monday morning, Tuesday’s data was collected between Monday and Tuesday (for those of who interested in the mechanics, in the past we were wary of really quick polls in case people who responded fast to surveys were different from people who responded slowly. We’ve got round this using a different method of inviting people to surveys, without going into details the end result is that some of the people answering the daily surveys will have been invited a day or two before the survey even began, meaning you still get a mix of fast and slow respondents).


The latest voting intention figures are CON 40%, LAB 24%, LDEM 21%. As you can see from the graph, the Lib Dems peaked straight after Nick Clegg’s conference speech when they reached 23%, but only for a day. Their Friday score of 21% is still significantly up on the 17% they scored on Monday at the beginning of conference season. The Conservatives went down to 38% at the same point, but ended the first week of conference season back at 40% (still down on the last YouGov poll from before conference which had them at 41%).

The big losers so far as Labour, pushed down to 24%. Of course, starting today we will have the first daily poll conducted during the Labour conference, and in the next few days we may (or may not) see Labour’s totals climbing.