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The polling company Ipsos MORI have published their first Political Monitor for 2016, with a range of regular and reactive questions .
Their headline voting intention is that 40% support the Conservatives, with 31% backing Labour. The United Kingdom Independence Party are presently on 11%, with the Liberal Democrats sitting at 7% and the Greens on 4%.
In terms of party image, 43% of respondents said the Conservatives has the “best team of leaders to deal with the country’s problems”. Three equal portions of 16% said the same about Labour, no political party or that they did not know. As Gideon Skinner of Ipsos MORI notes:
This is an increase of 9 points for the Conservatives and a fall of 7 points for Labour since June 2014, and is the biggest lead for the Conservatives since we started asking the question in 1989.
When asked which party “would be best at looking after the interest of people like you”, 33% replied the Conservatives, with Labour being the preferred choice of 29% of respondents for this question.
On party unity, 33% of those polled by Ipsos MORI said the Conservatives are “most clear and united what its policies should be”. Given the recent change of political leadership within the leading opposition party, just 13% say the same about Labour. This is the biggest lead the Conservatives have had on this Ipsos MORI question since it began in 1991. The Conservatives are also most believed to have “the best policies for the country as a whole”: 35% of respondents said this description best matched the Prime Minister David Cameron’s party, whereas 25% said the same about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister and Conservative leader, has the strongest net satisfaction figures of the four party leaders at -9 (42% satisfied, against 51% dissatisfied). Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has lower indication of a firm opinion in either direct, with a net score of -10 (22% satisfied, against 32% dissatisfied). Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and UKIP leader Nigel Farage both have the same satisfaction and dissatisfaction rates, of 31% satisfied against 49% dissatisfied, and consequently the same net score of -18.
The Political Monitor also found that nuclear unilateralism is widely opposed by the British public. The sample was split between into two questions, asking whether they would support or opposed the following policy: ‘Get rid of all nuclear weapons in Britain’, or ‘Get rid of all nuclear weapons in Britain even if other countries keep theirs’.
58% of the first sample said they opposed the idea of Britain of removing its nuclear weapons. This opposition rose to 70% when it was asked if Britain should do so on its own.
Speaking to Britain’s oldest think tank, the Fabian Society, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed that companies should not pay dividends to shareholders unless they paid their staff a ‘living wage’. Seema Malhotra, who is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, highlighted that this was not an annoucement of “something that is Labour policy”, but “it was an idea” for debate . Ipsos MORI then asked two variations of the same question, in another split sample:
I’d now like you to think about the living wage. The living wage is a salary which is high enough for workers to have a normal standard of livin, meaning they have enough money to be able to afford everyday thing like food, transport and paying bills.
It has been proposed [by Jeremy Corbyn] that companies should be banned from paying their shareholders dividends unless their staff earn the living wage. Please tell me to what extent, if at all, you support or oppose this idea?
The first variation does not mention the Labour leader, whereas the second does. The support for this idea, when Jeremy Corbyn is not included in the question, is 66%. That support drops to 60% when the Labour leader is mentioned.
This suggests there is a modest dampening effect on support for the policy when Jeremy Corbyn is given as the proposer. The full tables imply , though on the basis of small sub-samples, this is due to the net effect of Conservative and UKIP support falling and Labour support rising.
 Gottfried, G., and Skinner, G., 2016. Conservatives take their biggest lead over Labour as party with best team of leaders and most clear and united. Ipsos MORI. Available from: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3690/Conservatives-take-their-biggest-lead-over-Labour-as-party-with-best-team-of-leaders-and-most-clear-and-united.aspx [Accessed: 31st January 2016]
 BBC, 2016. Jeremy Corbyn warns businesses over ‘unfair’ pay. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35330331 [Accessed: 31st January 2016]
 Ipsos MORI, 2016. Ipsos MORI Political Monitor – January 2016. Available from: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/political-monitor-jan-2016-vi-tables.pdf [Accessed: 31st January 2016]