Ipsos-Mori poll – 17th Feb 2016
Labour close the gap to 6% but projected Tory majority unchanged at 64
Ipsos-Mori have released their February poll showing a different trendline to ICM and Com Res that were out over the last few days. The headline voting intention figure sees the Tory lead over Labour down from 9% in January to 6% this month. The poll detail shows the old South of England problem returning giving Labour a big swing in the south, as against modest to medium swing to the Tories everywhere else against the May 2015 result. This along with the sample in the raw data being heavily skewed towards public sector workers is why Labour’s position holds up better than in other polls.
The 7% swing in the south (excluding London) would only have Labour picking up 13 seats in the south against the Tories which is easily wiped out by Tory gains in other regions. This shows the problem Labour will have even if they did very well in the south but not elsewhere as this poll suggests, as in the main they need huge swings to gain a serious number of seats there. The seat projection actually sees the Tories get exactly the same number of seats as in the January poll with a net increase of 26 seats on 357, meaning an overall majority of 64. In Scotland the SNP are recorded at 55%, and would take all 59 seats Scottish seats as a result. The poll is another showing no breakthrough for the Lib Dems.
The poll also asked the EU Referendum question and that too sees no change from January with Remain maintaining it’s 19% lead. The dynamics described above may suggest why this poll shows no change while the other poll that is done by phone, Com Res, saw a substantial swing to the leave campaign. The skew in this poll towards public sector workers and the high SNP figure mean an increase within groups known to be more likely to vote for remain. The likely exaggeration of Labour position in the south also may help the remain figure where a bigger Tory lead would have closed the gap.
While there is evidence to suggest this poll probably exaggerates Labour (In terms of headline voting percentage at least, though not so much in terms of seat projection) and the Remain in the EU positions, this is a poll for both to hold onto. Labour can use it to challenge the assumption that the Tories have increased their lead, and remain supporters can point to this poll to claim the rot of support moving to the leave campaign has stopped. A poll to challenge perceptions, that are sometimes more important in what happens next than the reality. Also of course while this poll of the last few is the outlier, the lesson of May 2015 is that we should not assume the outlier is always wrong.Whatever the details, this poll is good news for Remain, and some relief for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn.
THE NUMBERS (Poll of Poll averages)
Voting Intention – The Tory lead over Labour falls from 9% to 8.5%
Seat Projection – The Tory projected Overall Majority remains unchanged at 78
EU Referendum – The Remain lead in the EU Referendum phone poll average is unchanged at 13.5%
All the updated numbers can be found here. A breakdown of the Ipsos-Mori poll is below.
MOON OF LIBERTY POLL SCOREBOARD
Ipsos-Mori Poll (17/02/2016)
HEADLINE VOTING INTENTION
Con 39% Lab 33% LD 6% UKIP 12% Green 3% – Con lead 6%
REGIONAL SEAT PROJECTION
Con 357 Lab 204 LD 7 SNP 59 UKIP 1 Plaid Cymru 3 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18 –
Con Overall Majority of 64
Remain 55% Leave 36% – Remain lead 19%