Do these 1992 approval ratings hold the key?

Do these 1992 approval ratings hold the key?

Should we be waiting for the MORI January numbers?

So in the past week we have had two telephone polls, Populus and ComRes, showing sharpish moves to the Tories while the two online polls have either reported no change (Angus Reid) or Labour moving up a notch and the Tories moving down (YouGov).

Given that one, last night’s YouGov had the gap close to, as they say, “hung parliament territory” what is going on and could the election, after all, see an inconclusive outcome?

There’s one non-voting intention monthly regular, the MORI leader satisfaction ratings, that has a remarkable record over the years of getting it right.

This was the case even in that polling disaster of the 1992 general election when John Major romped in with a national vote margin that was seven clear points larger than what any of the pollsters voting intention surveys had been suggesting.

The question itself asks simply “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way … Mr Kinnock.. is doing his job as Leader of the Opposition?” in a straightforward non-judgemental way and we have the comforting feature of consistency of approach over several decades. Now there’s a full historical record on the Ipsos-MORI website going back to 1977.

And look at how those Major/Kinnock figures were such a good predictor for 1992 when all the pollsters were so far off the mark when it came to voting intention.

Kinnock was doing a fair bit better than Brown is doing now while John Major, still gaining the benefit on not being Mrs Thatcher, had somewhat better numbers than David Cameron is seeing now.

The January MORI leader satisfaction numbers should be out during the next week.

  • Today’s Sunday Times YouGov poll has its form of approval ratings for Brown, Cameron and Clegg all moving up. The question is not the same as MORI’s and reads “Do you think XXXXX is doing well or badly as XXXXX?” The “well” totals are Brown 32% (+6), Clegg 47% (+5) and Cameron 56% (+4)
  • Mike Smithson

    PB – “Political Website of the Year”
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