Ipsos Mori have released a poll at the end of a week of embarrassing headlines for the Prime Minister relating to the publishing by the Daily Mail of the more sensation parts of a new unauthorised biography of Cameron by Lord Ashcroft. I won’t go into detail but the most shocking thing in the book involves an initiation ceromany and a dead pig that an unmamed MP claims Cameron took part in. It needs to be stressed there is no hard evidence and even the book and it’s authors make clear they cannot know for sure if it happened. The book also appears to confirm Cameron did smoke cannabis. This is something Cameron has never confirmed or denied.
After a week of such headlines the Prime Minister will be pleased to see this Mori poll does not appear to have done him or the Tory party much damage. The Conservative headline score is up on the last Mori poll to 39%. Labour are also up to 34% primarily to taking support from the Greens. Mori unlike other polls, also continue to have UKIP well down and below the Lib Dems, albeit with the Lib Dems on only 8%. There is no conference bounce for the Lib Dems seen in this poll.
The regional breakdowns suggest some good news for Jeremy Corbyn in Wales where the Labour vote appears to be doing a little better. This was seen in the two previous polls last week published by Com Res and YouGov. However, In Scotland the improvement seen in those other polls is not matched, the Scottish sample has the SNP on 53% and the Tories ahead of Labour. In England the news continues to be weak for Labour, the Tories are doing better in the north and the poll sees a 5% swing to the Tories in the midlands (Against the May result), an absolutely key battleground where there has been no evidence at all that Corbyn is anything but a disaster for the Labour vote and brand. Labour see an improvement in the south, I have written before though about how this should be treated with caution when other English trends are going the other way due to the difficulties of sampling a 27% Tory lead there. The other problem Labour has is even if this is true, they still need to do much better before making any serious southern gains.
Another finding of note in the wider poll is Jeremy Corbyn’s personal satisfaction rating of minus 3. Mori have asked this same question about leaders for many decades, Corbyn is the first leader of the opposition to ever start (This is Mori’s first poll since he was elected) with a minus rating.
MOON OF LIBERTY POLL SCOREBOARD
Ipsos Mori (24/09/2015)
Voting Intention – Con 39% Lab 34% LD 8% UKIP 7% Green 4%
SNP Vote share in Scotland – 53%
Regional seat projection – Con 358 Lab 205 SNP 56 LD 8 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18 – Con Majority of 64
In a sense this poll demonstrates the folly of the Corbyn strategy. On the face of it 34% is not a disaster and as those votes are being taken from the Greens this is actually part of Corbyn’s approach, to try and reach out to those on the left and bring them into the Labour fold. However when broken down the gains come in areas that make little difference, where as where the Tories are making gains are in areas that can actually affect seats, and thus the outcome of the election. a 5% lead is a small swing to Labour nationally but it is not helping them due to where the votes are coming from. They must find a way to take Tory votes especially in the midlands. So after a tough week for David Cameron, he will be relieved by this poll, piggate has not really done him any damage and he is still beating a weak Labour Party.