Tory lead falls to 6% in Ipsos MORI poll

The latest Ipsos MORI poll for the Observer has Labour support jumping by 5% at the expense of the Conservatives and narrowing the gap between the two biggest parties to just 6%.

The poll has the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 17%. That’s well into hung parliament territory and really quite surprising just six months out from a General Election.

As the graph on page three of this “getting opinion polls right” pdf shows, the Labour lead over John Major’s government from August 1996 to Februrary 1997 was consistently between 12 and 25% across all major pollsters.

Poll movement looks to be largely between Labour and the Conservatives, with the small Lib Dem changes being within margins of error (excluding a conference boost in September).

Many Lib Dems will be disappointed the party isn’t picking up more support. Others will be pleased that Clegg’s party is avoiding the squeeze and look to strong local campaigns and the traditional General Election campaign boost to deliver gains.

The poll was taken in the three days immediately after Labour’s gain in the Glasgow North East by-election, and in the days after the Sun’s misfiring attacks on Brown over the Jacqui Janes letter. With Brown’s personal rating still low, the possibility of this poll being an outlier can’t be ruled out.

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This entry was posted in Polls.


  • Herbert Brown 22nd Nov '09 - 9:00am

    Considering that this poll was completed on the same day as one by ICM showing a 13-point Tory lead, and two days after one by YouGov showing 14 points, I think caution is indicated. The policy of not commenting on individual polls seems a sensible one.

    The point about Labour’s lead being consistently larger in 1996/1997 is also questionable, as by common consent most of the pollsters were systematically overestimating Labour support at that time.

    Mind you, it is interesting that the “swingometer” on Anthony Wells’s website projects from these figures Nick Clegg’s “dream scenario”, in which (despite losing 17 seats) the Lib Dems would be in a position to give either Labour or the Tories a Commons majority.

  • What is your reaction to the alleged disclosure of E-mails and other data from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit? This information has been flying around the Internet since 19th and if genuine potentially blows the lid off the all of the propaganda that has been promulgated about The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. Despite this there apparently has not been a word from yourselves, any political party member or broadcaster about it. This has much more significance than what today’s celebrities had for breakfast. Why no news coverage or political reaction?

    In an article on this subject in the UK’s Daily Telegraph (Note 1) mention is made of John Daly. It says QUOTE: One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting: “In an odd way this is cheering news.” UNQUOTE. This alleged E-mail is presented more fully elsewhere (Note 2).

    It is important to remain sceptical about the validity of this “leak” of information and await the results of a thorough investigation. (Is the Herald doing something along these lines?). Despite this, there is a saying “there’s no smoke without fire”. It is interesting to see that there appeared to be an exchange of E-mails between John Daly and Phil Jones back in 2001 (Note 3). This item starts with QUOTE: After several requests by visitors to this website for details of the two emails which were sent by Phil Jones of CRU, demanding withdrawal of the articles about recent errors in CRU hemispheric temperatures, the following exchange of emails was made via a very large CC (110 addressees), with both of Jones’ emails signed in his official capacity as professor at CRU. UNQUOTE. It is followed by an apparent exchange of E-mails between John Daly and Phil Jones.

    I leave you to read them and draw your own conclusions. While you’re at it, have a read of the comments at Wattsupwiththat (Note 2). There are some interesting comments about that site favoured by supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis, Realclimate.

    The links originally provided here can be found at Australian Senator Steve Fielding’s blog ( comment # 4481.

    Pete Ridley, human-made global climate change agnos(cep)tic

  • “You will have Mike Smithson on your case if you aren’t careful! Yes the polls showed that, and they were nearly all wrong and subsequently changed methodology so that direct comparisons are impossible.”

    Precisely, only ICM hasn’t changed its methodology.

  • Martin Land 22nd Nov '09 - 1:29pm

    The field work for this poll was taken immediately after the Glasgow by-election and Gordon’s Sun affair.

    I’ve argued for some time that the poll shifts we are seeing are due to PTV and this poll seems to demonstrate that, though I’d have to reserve judgement until I see the detailed figures.

    Which all goes to show that while I still think the Tories will come ‘first’ I still have money on a hung parliament. It’s a bet I’ve had on for two years and I’m very happy with it!

  • Herbert Brown 22nd Nov '09 - 7:44pm

    Interesting that it’s being reported – on the basis of an interview with Andrew Marr – that Nick Clegg has said he will seek to work with whichever party has most seats in a hung parliament.

    But looking at the video clip on the BBC website, he doesn’t seem to be saying that at all. Instead, he speaks of the party with the “strongest mandate”, and says “the votes of the British people should determine what happens”. If that means the party with the larger share of the vote, that’s very different, of course. Unfortunately Andrew Marr didn’t press him for clarity on the point.

  • Simon Titley 23rd Nov '09 - 4:07pm

    @Pete Ridley – In response to your off-topic contribution on climate change, today’s Guardian exposes this conspiracy theory as an almighty pile of bollocks:

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