Johnson in lead

Tories retain ‘comfortable’ lead in race for Number 10

Boris Johnson

Taking a lead: Boris Johnson looks likely to be back in Downing Street

Boris Johnson remains on course for a return to Downing Street with the Tories retaining a “comfortable” lead over Labour, according to an Ipsos/Mori poll.

However, four in ten voters could change their minds, suggesting the outcome is far from certain.

It shows Conservative on 44%, Labour on 28%, Liberal Democrats 16%, Brexit 3% and the Greens on 3%. The pollsters took into account voting intentions where the Brexit Party, LibDems, Greens and Plaid Cymru are not standing.

It confirms that Brexit is the top issue helping voters decide which party they will vote for with 63% mentioning it.

Brexit is followed by the NHS (mentioned by 41%), education (21%), taxation and protecting the environment (both 11%), and managing the economy (9%). 

Britain’s departure from the EU is particularly important to Conservative and Liberal Democrat supporters (76% and 77% respectively), while Labour supporters are just as likely to pick the NHS (by 48% to 45% saying Brexit).

The new poll also reveals:

  • Three in five (59%) of voters say they’ve made up their mind on who they’ll vote for – one in five (40%) say they may change their mind.  In May 2017, 32% said they might change their mind.
  • Those who say they’ll vote Conservative are surer of their vote than those voting Labour. Seven in ten (71%) Conservative supports say they’ve definitely decided compared with 54% of Labour supporters. More Liberal Democrats supporters say they may change their mind than are definitely decided (by 60% to 40%). 
  • Labour voters who may change their mind are most likely to consider the Liberal Democrats while Liberal Democrat voters who may change their mind are most likely to consider Labour (around a third of each pick the other party). Conservatives who may change their mind are split between the Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. 
  • Most Britons (70%) say they’ll vote for the party that best represents their views – slightly fewer what we saw in the run up to the 2017 and 2015 elections (75% in May 2017 and 85% in May 2015). Just 14% say they’ll vote for a party to try and keep another party out (although this rises to 23% of those who say they will vote Liberal Democrat). 
  • This month, we also asked voters to say how important to their vote were parties, their policies and their leaders, by allocating ten points across each.  Party policies is the most important thing according to Britons when deciding how to vote (allocating on average 4.6 points out of 10) while parties and leaders are a joint second (2.7 points on average each).  Policies are particularly important to Labour and LibDem supporters, while Conservatives are the most likely to place importance on the leaders.
  • Nearly nine in ten (87%) say that it is either very or fairly important to them who wins the election, including 64% who say it is very important.  This is the highest ‘very important’ score we have seen at this stage of a campaign.
  • One in five (20%) think a hung parliament would be a good thing for the country while nearly seven in ten (72%) think it would be a bad thing.  Liberal Democrat supporters are split – 48% think it would be good if no party gains an overall majority, 47% think it would be bad. 

Gideon Skinner, head of politics at Ipsos MORI, said: “The public are telling us that they care more about the outcome of this election than previous ones, and yet four in ten say they might change their minds – also more than in 2017. 

“At the moment the Conservatives have most reason to be pleased – they keep their lead in voting intentions and their supporters are less likely to say they may change their mind than Labour or the LibDems.  But there is clearly potential for this to change as the campaign continues.”

2 Comments to Tories retain ‘comfortable’ lead in race for Number 10

  1. I am a Unionist living in Scotland. However, this is a blatantly English focussed article, completely ignoring the SNP. How can it state a percentage intending to vote for the Brexit party when you are not considering seats where they are standing? Likewise Plaid Cymru?

    • You may have a point, although the article is a fair representation of a statement issued with the survey by Ipsos / MORI. A footnote to the statement said: “Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,228 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 15th – 19th November 2019.”

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