Monday, October 20, 2008

Polling latest:

It's good news for him

But bad news for him:

A slew of recent opinion polls have provided some much-needed cheer for the Prime Minister, and some serious pause for thought for Nick Clegg.

ComRes for the Independent on Sunday has :
- CON 40%: LAB 31%: LD16%
Yougov for the Mirror has
- CON 42%: LAB 34%: LD14%
The Mail on Sunday poll, showing
- CON 46% : LAB 30% : LD 13%
turns out to be a bit of an outlier now and therefore is looking less reliable than the others.
Generally therefore I have to admit that Browns handling of the banking crisis added to his well received Conference speech has provided about a 5% lift to Labours poll rating (average during the summer was in the 24-27% range).
Of course you could argue that this is good news for us in the blue team, as this is not enough of a bounce to justify an early election or provide Labour with a win, but it is enough to prevent Gordon from being ousted and thus guarantees a Cameron V Brown playoff in 2010.

On the other hand the Labour supporters reading this (Yes, Kieth, that's you) will probably argue that Gordon is building a base on which to mount a fightback, and that to be 'only' 8 points behind at this stage of a third term Government is very good. Trailing by only 8 points or so into an election would leave them strong enough to bounce back in a single Parliament, even as they lost power.
Of course it's true that Conservatives would feel much happier back in the 20% poll leads we did briefly see during the summer (although there is a danger of complacency, see posts passim) but it's easy to forget that we would have bitten our own arms off for a poll lead of anything like this as recently as summer 2007. Even with these numbers Cameron would be safely installed in 10 Downing Street with a working majority.
The biggest worry in these latest polls must be for the Liberal Democrats, who on the averages have now completely lost touch with the 18/20% that they must be in range of to avoid at least halving their Westminster presence. Lib Dems claim that an election campaign boosts their poll numbers as the broadcasters are forced to give them more airtime under fairness rules; but the last few weeks have boosted their broadcast presence hugely, Vince cable has hardly been off the TV screens, yet they are steadily losing votes (overall the Lib Dems have lost more than one in four of the voters they had in 2005). Worse, the latest Labour surge has come almost exclusively at the Lib Dems expense which blows Nick Cleggs new strategy (making gains from Labour in the North by promising tax cuts) out of the water altogether. Having already had two complete changes of policy (in totally different directions), and three leaders in one Parliament the Lib Dems have no room left to change strategy or leader again before the next election.

I happen to think Labour will not sustain this level of support. Reaction on the doorstep to Gordon Brown hasn't noticeably changed at all, most people really don't like him or want him as their Prime Minister and as soon as this credit crunch does become a crisis in our high street then Labours level of support will sag even further.

Update Wednesday 22nd : A new poll came out today from IPSOS MORI today with another set of figures that supports the others.
Their figures are: CON: 45 LAB : 30 : LD 14.

The average 'poll of polls' considered to be the most accurate predictor of all has CON 43, LAB 31 and LD 16


Barrie Wood said...

And the poll in 'The Guardian' today (21/10/08) shows the Lib Dems on 21%.

Your points is Marcus ? To everyone else it is clear that the polls are in a state of flux, although I do concede the Tories are doing well.

But, then so you should be halfway through a 3rd Labour term and in an economically turbulent time. The questions is are you doing as well as you should be ? Blair, was away and over the hill at a similar stage, prior to the 1997 election.

It seems your support is wide, but possibly shallow. It takes no account of local factors or that the 'yellow peril' once elected to Westminster can be hard to shift, as has been proven in recent times.

I think you'd better calm down Marcus, you are getting far to excited !!

Anonymous said...

So far in October there have been over 35,000 real votes cast in real local elections. (% change from 2006

Con 11,743 votes 32.5% (down 2.7%), Lab. 6,794 votes 18.6% (down 1.3%), Liberal Democrat 12,863 votes 35.6% (up 2.5%) and Others. 4,825 votes 13.4% (up 1.5%).

If it is so dire for the Liberal Democrats, then there are some really dumb Tories out there loosing to the Liberals.

I'm not Barrie Wood! said...

I'd like to know what all this poll fussing really means to us the electorate?

Only self obsessed selfish Party hacks care about the polls when the country is about to take an inelegant belly flop into recession. Where's the talk of a "soft landing" now eh?

Pshaw to the lot of you - and shame on you Barry for geing caught up in it. I expect you to champion more strongly Liberal views. We should care for the effects this will have on our society. I cannot imagine it will make it better or more cohesive.

Mr Wood seems to championing the days of social division uneder Maggie T. Although it has to be said this Labour mob has added, not reduced the welath disparity in this Sceptred Isle.

Barrie Wood said...

INBW : Whilst this week Marcus has been fretting about the polls and impact on his political career and continues his ongoing 'obsession' with the Lib Dems, nationally the Lib Dems have been talking about ISSUES that concern people right now. These include :

1. Cutting taxes for struggling families so you've got more money in your pocket

The Liberal Democrats will cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes, raising them for the richest so the tax cuts are affordable. We will fund this by ending upper rate tax relief on pensions, clamping down on tax avoidance, harmonising income and capital gains taxes, increasing green taxation and trimming overall central public spending. These proposals would not increase the government fiscal deficit; that means they are affordable now. This tax cut is now urgent to get money to people who are struggling the most, helping them to pay for essentials and keep spending money in the high street.

2. Lowering energy bills so you can afford to keep warm this winter

As wholesale fuel prices fall - they have dropped 28% since August - utility companies must lower people's bills too. Millions of people face a winter unable to heat their homes: 4 out of 5 single pensioners will be in fuel poverty this winter. Energy companies must pass on wholesale price cuts. We'll also change billing rules so the first units of energy you use are no longer the most expensive. Essential energy should be the cheapest, while bigger users pay more. This is fairer, and will help the environment. Finally, those energy companies that received a £9bn subsidy from the European Emissions Trading Scheme must invest in lower tariffs for vulnerable customers and providing comprehensive insulation for everyone.

3. Keeping people in their homes, so you don't need to fear unfair repossessions

We must ensure that banks only ever repossess people's homes as a last resort. Liberal Democrats will instruct the courts to make sure banks don't repossess unless they've already offered free independent financial advice, and pursued all alternatives like renegotiating the terms of the mortgage and offering a shared equity agreement.

We already have nearly two million families on housing waiting lists. We can help those families and prevent a homelessness crisis by allowing councils and housing associations to buy up unsold properties and land from building companies. This will replenish our social housing stock, stimulate the house building industry and provide homes now for people who need them.

4. Lower mortgage payments and cheaper business loans through big interest rate cuts

People and businesses need help paying off their mortgages and loans, so we need substantially lower interest rates. The UK still has higher official interest rates than the EU (4.5% compared to 3.75%) and dramatically higher rates than the US (1.5%). This makes it much harder for people to pay their mortgages, makes it harder for business to survive and slows the economy down. The Bank of England must remain independent, but at this time of emergency its remit must be changed to make interest rates fall dramatically and swiftly. This should be part of international action to cut rates across all major economies.

Further, if we really want to know about the Tories and if they've changed, we only need look at the awful Bye-led Council. The answer is a resounding no !

As for commentary on my own centre-left liberal views you can find these again on my resurrected blog ;-)