What do the opinion polls tell us and
what does it mean for politics?
Contacts: Bobby.Duffy@ipsos.com 020 7347 3000
#showm...
What do the opinion polls tell us and
what does it mean for politics?
Bobby Duffy, MD Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute...
What they’re saying
now…
4September’s poll showed a curbing of enthusiasm
Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor
Conservative lead = -10
All giving a...
5
Labour are holding on to most of 2010 voters
Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor
Still Con/Lab/LD, not certain to vote
...
6
Not winning over many Tories…
Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor
Still Con, not certain to vote
Base: 8,091 GB adults ...
7
Relying heavily on Lib Dem switchers
Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor
Still LD, not certain to vote
Base: 8,091 GB a...
8
What do you see as the most/other important issues facing Britain today?
Can tell us about the issues...
The economy
0
1...
9
Do you think that the general economic condition of the country will improve, stay the same or get worse over
the next 1...
10
0
10
20
30
40
50
Mar-90
Sep-90
Mar-91
Sep-91
Mar-92
Sep-92
Mar-93
Sep-93
Mar-94
Sep-94
Mar-95
Sep-95
Mar-96
Sep-96
Mar-...
11
What do you think are the two most important issues facing your country/you
are facing at the moment?
But need to look ...
12
Much closer on this…
Do you think you and your family would be better off under a Conservative government or a
Labour g...
But real value of opinion
polls much more than this
1. Learn more about
future from looking back
– changing generations…
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
Do yo...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
Do yo...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“How ...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“How ...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“How ...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“How ...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
2. Look
internationally - is
lack of political
engagement a
British disease?
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“Do y...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“Do y...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“Do y...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes
“Do y...
3. Remind us of our many
misperceptions…
© Ipsos MORI / King’s College London
….including on immigration…
Base: 1,015 British adults aged 16-75, *British Social At...
© Ipsos MORI / King’s College London
NOT saying people stupid…
Can influence estimates – if incentivised, we get more
accu...
Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 200...
Thank you
Bobby.Duffy@ipsos.com
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What do the opinion polls tell us and what does it mean for politics?

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Presented at our fringe event at the Labour Party conference 2013. Panel: Dr Stella Creasy MP, Bobby Duffy, Managing Director, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI, Joe Murphy, Political Editor of the Evening Standard, Johanna Baxter, Member of the Labour National Executive Committee, Hetan Shah, Executive Director, Royal Statistical Society (Chair)

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What do the opinion polls tell us and what does it mean for politics?

  1. 1. What do the opinion polls tell us and what does it mean for politics? Contacts: Bobby.Duffy@ipsos.com 020 7347 3000 #showmethedata
  2. 2. What do the opinion polls tell us and what does it mean for politics? Bobby Duffy, MD Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute Bobby.Duffy@ipsos.com @BobbyIpsosMORI
  3. 3. What they’re saying now…
  4. 4. 4September’s poll showed a curbing of enthusiasm Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor Conservative lead = -10 All giving a voting intention: How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? 30% 40% 10% 10% 10% Base 1,000 British adults 18+, 7th -9h September 2013, all certain to vote = 545 Labour Conservative Lib Dem UKIP Other All certain to vote: Conservative lead = -3 34% 37% 10% 11% 8%
  5. 5. 5 Labour are holding on to most of 2010 voters Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor Still Con/Lab/LD, not certain to vote Base: 8,091 GB adults 18+, January-August 2013 Voted Tory in 2010 Voted LD in 2010 Voted Labour in 2010 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? Still Con/Lab/LD and certain to vote Not Con/Lab/LD any more 49% 20% 31% 59%23% 18% 26% 13%61%
  6. 6. 6 Not winning over many Tories… Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor Still Con, not certain to vote Base: 8,091 GB adults 18+, January-August 2013 Voted Tory in 2010 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? Still Con and certain to vote Not Con any more 49% 20% 13% 5% 2% 11% Other Lib Dems UKIP Labour
  7. 7. 7 Relying heavily on Lib Dem switchers Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor Still LD, not certain to vote Base: 8,091 GB adults 18+, January-August 2013 Voted LD in 2010 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow? Still LD and certain to vote Not LD any more 26% 13% 29% 7% 5% 20% Other UKIP Conservatives Labour
  8. 8. 8 What do you see as the most/other important issues facing Britain today? Can tell us about the issues... The economy 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 May 1997 May 1998 May 1999 May 2000 May 2001 May 2002 May 2003 May 2004 May 2005 May 2006 May 2007 May 2008 May 2009 May 2010 May 2011 May 2012
  9. 9. 9 Do you think that the general economic condition of the country will improve, stay the same or get worse over the next 12 months? Base: c. 1,000 British adults each month But big increases in economic optimism recently Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor Ipsos MORI Economic Optimism Index = % improve minus % get worse
  10. 10. 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Mar-90 Sep-90 Mar-91 Sep-91 Mar-92 Sep-92 Mar-93 Sep-93 Mar-94 Sep-94 Mar-95 Sep-95 Mar-96 Sep-96 Mar-97 Sep-97 Mar-98 Sep-98 Mar-99 Sep-99 Mar-00 Sep-00 Mar-01 Sep-01 Mar-02 Sep-02 Mar-03 Sep-03 Mar-04 Sep-04 Mar-05 Sep-05 Mar-06 Sep-06 Mar-07 Sep-07 Mar-08 Sep-08 Mar-09 Sep-09 Mar-10 Sep-10 Mar-11 Sep-11 Mar-12 Sep-12 Mar-13 Sep-13 Best party on economy Which party do you think has the best policies on the economy, the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats or some other party? Base: c. 1,000 British adults each month Source: Ipsos MORI Political Monitor 38% 20% 5%
  11. 11. 11 What do you think are the two most important issues facing your country/you are facing at the moment? But need to look at what worries people personally… Base: c. 1,300 Source: Standard Eurobarometer 79 , Spring 2013 0 10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 Rising prices/inflation Unemployment ImmigrationEconomic situation Crime Health and social securityPensions Education system Taxation Housing Terrorism Environment Most important issue for my country Most important issue for me personally
  12. 12. 12 Much closer on this… Do you think you and your family would be better off under a Conservative government or a Labour government, or do you think it would make no difference? Source: Ipsos MORI Political MonitorBase: 1,000 British adults 18+, 7th – 9th September 2013 Conservative lead = -1 22% 52% 23% 2% Conservative government Labour government Make no difference Don’t know
  13. 13. But real value of opinion polls much more than this
  14. 14. 1. Learn more about future from looking back – changing generations…
  15. 15. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes Do you think of yourself as a supporter of any one political party? Support for political parties is declining... 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 83 84 85 86 87 89 90 91 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 % Yes
  16. 16. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes Do you think of yourself as a supporter of any one political party? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % yes ...driven by rock solid generational pattern
  17. 17. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?” Massive shift in generational voting patterns... 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % Conservative
  18. 18. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?” ... Labour very different 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % Labour
  19. 19. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI
  20. 20. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?” Just not true… 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat Generation YGeneral elections Lower sense of duty to vote: turnout vital, sense of something at stake vital to that
  21. 21. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?” Where have pre-war gone? 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % Undecided Largest increase in UKIP vote 76% of pre-war voted 2010 49% of generation Y....
  22. 22. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI 2. Look internationally - is lack of political engagement a British disease?
  23. 23. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “Do you feel closer to a particular party than all other parties?” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % “yes” UK We have widest dispersal between oldest and youngest on connection to parties…
  24. 24. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “Do you feel closer to a particular party than all other parties?” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % “Yes” Germany Compare Germany…
  25. 25. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “Do you feel closer to a particular party than all other parties?” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % “Yes” Sweden Sweden very different pattern…
  26. 26. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI All data points represent > 200 responses Source: British Social Attitudes “Do you feel closer to a particular party than all other parties?” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Pre war (before 1945) Baby boomers (1945-65) Generation x (1966-1979) Generation y (1980-2000) % “Yes” Ireland Irish brought together by rejection of all parties…
  27. 27. 3. Remind us of our many misperceptions…
  28. 28. © Ipsos MORI / King’s College London ….including on immigration… Base: 1,015 British adults aged 16-75, *British Social Attitudes Source: RSS/Ipsos MORI 2013 ; *Detailed country of birth and nationality analysis from the 2011 Census of England and Wales, (May 2013) ONS. **Immigration Statistics, January to March 2013, (May 2013) Home Office. What percentage of the United Kingdom population do you think are immigrants to this country (i.e. not born in the UK)? 13 31 Actual Average estimate Top two answers why think higher: we don’t believe you, illegal immigration not counted…
  29. 29. © Ipsos MORI / King’s College London NOT saying people stupid… Can influence estimates – if incentivised, we get more accurate… “Mythbusting” alone unlikely to work: need clear narrative and emotional appeal too …because we have “motivated reasoning” on these things: both “accuracy” and “directional” goals… … “Emotional innumeracy”: we’re wrong because we’re worried, as well as being worried because wrong…
  30. 30. Version 1 | Internal Use Only© Ipsos MORI 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 The Sun Daily Mail Daily Mirror Daily Telegraph Daily Star Daily Express The Times The Guardian The Independent & I Newspaper Other None Most important issue: Race relations/immigration/immigrants Key benefit of opinion polls: remind us to be wary of our own perspective… Source: Ipsos MORI Issues Index, 1996-2012 47ppt range
  31. 31. Thank you Bobby.Duffy@ipsos.com

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