The much-vaunted 'Brown Bounce' is fading fast according to the organisations who ask the public who they would be voting for if an election were held tomorrow.For most of his time as leader David Cameron and his party have had a lead in public opinions surveys; but this vanished in June when Tony Blair stood down. This 'boince' in public opinion was widely predicted and is usual as voters give the new Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt. John Major secured and immediate 10 point advantage that lasted for months.
The 8 and 10 point leads that Labour were enjoying earlier in the summer look to be falling very quickly - and far faster than I was expecting, (I had said privately that I expected Labour to maintain some kind of poll lead right through to spring 2008).
ComRes (formerly Communicate Research) for The Independent puts both Labour and the Conservatives level pegging on 36%. The LibDems are on 15%.YouGov for GMTV which gives Labour a 3% lead; Labour on 38%, Tories on 35% and the LibDems on 15%.
Of course the news that the papers will probably focus on is the fight between Tory and Labour, but surely the big news in all of the polls this summer has been the very poor showing by the Liberal Democrats - 15% is now looking like an average result for them (as opposed to a freak) and represents a massive drop from the 22% they won in 2005; basically one third of their support has gone AWOL since Ming Campbell took over.
This is some welcome and unexpected good news for me and my supporters.