Monday, February 19, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: New Poll Gives Massive Tory Lead

One poll does not a Summer make. But if you're a Conservative you ought to buy The Guardian tomorrow. Their ICM poll gives the Conservatives their best showing for 15 years with 40%, Labour on 31% and the LibDems on 19%. If you're a Labour supporter you will be very worried by the fact that when people were asked how they would vote if it were Cameron v Brown, the Tories rose to 42%, Labour fell to 29% and the LibDems also fell by two points to 17%. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Labour leadership contest may not be quite the shoo-in that everyone thinks. One or two more polls like this and Labour MPs will be getting very twitchy. However, the Labour Party leadership rules only give MPs one third of the votes, so Brown may be safer than he would have been under a one member one vote system, or if only MPs had the vote.

Anyway, let's see if this trend is reflected in the next YouGov and Populus polls.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been saying for a while that there's 'many a slip twixt cup and lip' for Gordon Brown. Trouble is, he seems to have the electoral college sewn up. But he cannot take this for granted, and his years of hesitation may be about to cost him dear. When the 'horses' realise that Blair's leaving will be a once in a decade [lifetime?] chance for a crack at the top job, then Reid, Hain, Johnson, and a load of others may come out of the woodwork for a 'death or glory' shot at the top job.

Anonymous said...

The devil is in the detail and the detail is in the last sentence.

David Allen said...
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Anonymous said...

Umm, get out the Kenwood mixer and try and unsettle the Labour Party. Crude but worth a try. The Brown camp has obviously factored in how the press and opposition will handle the leadership election. They will have seen polls like this (and your take on it) a mile off.

Anonymous said...
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mutleythedog said...

Yes, yes, yes, great news blah bla. Can i change the topic and ask you why you recommended that dull lady who moved north (yawn) for a 70,000 pound publishing deal when there are exciting blogs to be found much closer to reality e.g mutleythedogsdayout.blogspot.com (to name but one)I am broke and need a publishing deal and I promise to cut out the porn..

Newmania said...

Thanks Iain thats really cheering news . What on earth would it look like in an English Parliament...which I have now come round to.


I don`t see another leader making muich difference to the Labour Party. This question has arisen before endlessly but then you get down to who and it goes away again

og said...

But I WANT Gordo to get the hospital pass, because he deserves it. The look on his face when he gets booted into the political long grass at the next election is a memory I want to remain vivid for many years.

And call me a fool, but a decent majority might encourage Dave to reconnect with his Tory roots, if he can locate them, and allow him to avoid the Big Blair Mistake of 10 years of big majorities - "not bold enough".

A small majority for Dave gives us the worst of all scenarios - Blue Labour, no reform, no progress.

Oops, I've fallen for the headline, haven't I? The next poll might return to 35/32 and that means a Labour Hold on government....

Anonymous said...

It might save Cameron as the conservatives were not doing very well against the worst government in living memory.

It doesn't alter the fact that a lot of people will vote UKIP (me included) as they don't trust bluelabour.

barry monk said...

Is "anonymous said" what I believe they call an ASTROTURFER?

verity said...

I don't know why you're all bothering to speculate. Blair will only go when they pry his cold, dead fingers off the door to No 10.

morrocanroll said...

Interesting...I wonder when this was polled. During the road-price row, perhaps?

This not-yet tax may be the straw (poll) that finally breaks middle england's accomodation with Labour. And remember, the Tories always poll worse than the actual votes cast.

Anonymous said...

Anyone has any guesses as to the result of Tony resigning and calling a general election?

Howard said...

If this trend continues it will not be Brown, and him being Scottish will not help after Labour goes into free fall in the local elections. That is the irony. The Tories strategy is dependent on Brown becoming PM. Interesting times!

Anonymous said...

from Mike Snyder:

Back to the poll - what is survey method & dates, sample size & margin of error? All poll reporting should include these crucial factoids.

That said, agree results are jolly news for DC (aka Great Blue Hope), less jolly for GB (person & island)and must be causing teethgrinding at Conservative Home.

Perhaps GB (person & island) will be doing better when the dance of the bumblebees is over & TB (two-legged bacillus) is on the international lecture circuit . . .

Helen said...

Nine points a massive lead in the third term of a highly unpopular government?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The magic 40%. For months people have been saying, the Tories need 40% to win an overall majority. Now, perhaps, it's within striking distance.

Praguetory said...

I think Tony wants to see Broon succeed him and lose really badly. Tone will take the hit for the terrible results in May in exchange for making it to 10 years and then allow Broon a shot. *rubs hands*

Neil Welton said...

The Labour Party must be scared senseless. Cherie Blair was in Cardiff today not only touring a key marginal but also visiting the Dr Who exhibition with son Leo. You know Dr Who - the programme about a charismatic man (whose home is bigger on the inside than on the outside) but who can't help but take people for a ride. Sounds rather like her husband. Fancy bringing Cherie Blair to Cardiff, I thought the idea of an election campaign was to get people to vote Labour.

Yak40 said...

Grauniad agrees, also says no evidence of UKIP eroding support.

Steven_L said...

The trade unions and public sector politcal classes are full of New Statesman reading Brownites.

Brown will get in, he's working on his 100 day plan now isn't he.

Someone should write a satirical cartoon book, 'Gordon Brown, my first 100 days'.

PJ said...

Most of the projections of seats that people go on about (i.e. the Tories need a lead of 8% to get an overall majority or whatever) assume a uniform swing nationwide. I don't think this is right. Some data I've seen - and the anecdotal evidence I've collected - show that the swing will be largest in the midlands, south and east where there are lots of Tory/Lab marginals, and much less in Scotland and the north, where there are fewer. And of course we mustn't forget the effect of the redistribution. Far from conclusive, of course, but I think the result next time could be better than the psephologists estimate.

By the way, what does blogger have against capital letters for one's identity?

Voyager said...

No doubt the Guardian wants to nudge Labour into its own direction......does a poll ever show results at variance with the ideological stance of the editor ?

Peter said...

This will all look very much better if Labour do badly in May, especially in Scotland. A Scottish Prime Minister without the support of his fellow Scotts and the West Loathian question hanging round his neck must be, to put in mildly, knackered!

Anonymous said...

You don't need a poll to tell you that Gordon Brown is unelectable.

Everyone, even the poor, is being taxed to penury.

It may win him votes in Rock Solid Unemployed (Labour) constituencies but no other bugger is going to vote for 5 more years of it.

Curly said...

Exposure of the 10 Downing Street system of harvesting our email addresses should add greatly to the mistrust we have for NuLabour!

morrocanroll said...

Ah. Polled between 16-18 Feb. Right in the middle of the road tolls argument. I'll take a stab on this and say this really will be Labour's poll tax.

And when the valuation officer knocks on the door and demands entry to photograph your fancy limestone shower cubicle so you he can send you a bigger council tax demand - well it's a Tory landslide.

Can Labour find both the handbrake and reverse gear in time....?

Modern Conservative said...

Feel the love! Of course it's just one poll and the only poll that counts is the one election day ... however that's what I always said when we were stuck on 30% -feels much better saying it now!

O/T sorry for doing this but why not nip over to Webcameron and vote for my post "STD's, Teen Pregnancy, and Drinking" on the Open Blog for Ask David. It's been dominiated by conspiracy oddballs recently and it would be good to get David talking about some more bread and butter subjects.

Richard Dale said...

Helen

As has already been pointed out by Morrocanroll the Conservative party always polls higher in an election than opinion polls. Labour and the LibDems are trendy, but harder to vote for when your prosperity, sanity and freedom are on the line.

We then have to take into account the changes of constituency borders. I seem to remember that alone would give the Conservatives a good few seats even given the same vote as last time.

verity said...

PJ - About capitalising nanes agreed. And referring to the owner of the blog as "the author" is equally illiterate.

I have to put up with all directions being given in Spanish, despite that it is an English blog with all the comments written in English, for God's sake.

verity said...

I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to email Downing St with these crooks in office. You should know that your email addresses were going to be snatched and saved in a little book.

javelin said...

I don't think that the Cameron vs. Brown poll reflects voters intentions. In the real world the gap will be a few percent LARGER.

Londontory said...

your email addresses were going to be snatched and saved in a little book

But all they will do is pump propaganda at us, and most of us are bright enough to ignore the drivel. And a lot of people will be offended so it might backfire on #10 spectacularly.

Helen said...

Richard Dale,

Speaking as someone who does not care which high taxing, high regulating, state obsessed socialist party gets in after the next election, I still think you should have more than nine points lead and a few better results at local level before you whoop with joy.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Umm, get out the Kenwood mixer and try and unsettle the Labour Party. anonymous 7.42 said
"The Brown camp has obviously factored in how the press and opposition will handle the leadership election. They will have seen polls like this (and your take on it) a mile off."

what does that mean exactly? - they won't call a general election at all?


7:47 PM

MayorWatch® said...

Even setting aside my legendary dismissal of opinion polls isn't it likely that the results of polls conducted while Blair's in charge and before anyone sees GB in action will differ from those done once he's into his '100 days'?

Well the difference is better or worse for Labour is another matter of course...

nadders said...

The Murdock worm has turned some more.

To support the line that road pricing will be Labour's poll tax, today's Time's highlights the linkeage of new central funds for local councils new transport infrstructure, directly to road pricing plans.

Described as blackmail by Labour MP.

BTW if tomorrow when bliars email on the subject comes out, if everyone reports it as SPAM to their ISP, hotmail, yahoo, aol etc, it will royaly fuck up future attempts to send out mass mailings

Tom Tyler said...

Isn't it ridiculous that, if this poll was reflected in a general election, the conservatives would come out with a majority of merely 34 seats (according to electoral calculus ?
That is insane. I know FPTP isn't perfect, but can't someone at least try and balance things out a bit more fairly?

Tom Tyler said...

(btw, my last comment took three goes at word verification to post, and this one probably will, too. Isn't blogger a bugger?)

Priam said...

I'm not taking anything for granted yet. However this is very encouraging.

I take heart from the Freakonomics book I read recently, it says that no matter how much money you spend, an attractive leader (in whatever form) will always win. Cameron has the X factor.

He may not get a majority, but he has very good chance of being PM in a few years.

Anonymous said...

from Mike Snyder:

OK, just saw the Guardian story on their latest ICM Research poll:

Survey dates: Feb 16-18, via phone/random dial
Sample: 1,000 adults 18+ weighted, which should yield margin of error +/- 1% at 95% confidence level (19 times out of 20)

Few thoughts:

1. UKIP is NOT eating the Tories lunch; blather about need to return to hard right roots appears unwarranted; my guess is that Euroskeptisim is motiviating fewer & fewer voters beyond the hard-right (similar to gay-bashing in the US).

2. The current Labour attacks against Cameron are likely HELPING him, just like the Tory "Demon Eyes" campaign against "Bambi" (what a hoot in retrospect) aided Blair.

3. Another problem for Brown is angst about the economy (similar to how Bush is not benefiting from US economy)so Brown's next (and last) budget may be crucial.

4. ICM hasn't posted toplines on this poll yet, but in last one Tories & Labour were essentially tied on most issues, save one: TERRORISM where Labour enjoyed significant lead; which would seem to indicate Tories MAY be vulnerable IF there is another terrorist outrage.

5. Differential swing & turnout could be the whole ballgame; for example, Labour supporters may be less motivated than Tories; plus Conservative Homebodies may want to consider fact that centerist Cameron may scare floating voters (and repluse Lab-Lib Dem tactical voters) much less than previous Thatcher clones.

6. Still believe Brown's (and Labour's) numbers unlikely to improve much UNTIL Blair departs #10. My bet is that cutting loose the anchor/anvil will give Brown (assuming he is PM) a major boost; how long & how much??????

verity said...

Nadders - what a lovely, constructive suggestion!

Curly said...
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achilles said...

Bring it on......

siralf said...

Grumpy Gordon could not charm a bankok working boy into bending. ( so I am told )

He has a face for radio and a voice best suited to a trapist monestry.

This man has been playing merry hell into my small business life for far to long. There is light at the end of this 10 year traveled, long dark tunnel.

One day I may even start feeling that I am working for myself again. Instead of this Neo-Marxist arsewipe and his own, rather itchy, infestation of blood sucking ( "you scratch my back and I will lie though my teeth and throw every priciple I have been rattleing on about, most of my life" ) ministers.

Gordon Brown and Tony Blair one day will be known collectivly as "The Robbing Hoods" of faith, hope, and most of all charity.

Otherwise, they are just both perfectly ggggggreat gggggguys.

scroblene said...

Good topic on infrastructure Nadders.

This is probably because NuLabyrinthe have totally cocked up the Planning-gain Supplement issue.

Not sure if that enquiry is still going on, but I'm sure there are loads of 'consultants' out there with pocket Excel at the ready.

That's when they're not giving Brown a "Winter of '42".

John Miller said...

I think the real message is that you can be a lying, mendacious, incompetent bunch of hypocrites and nearly 1 in 3 people will think you are fit for government!

Lobster Blogster said...

But if you're a Conservative you ought to buy The Guardian tomorrow.

I'll come back on this one later today. Are you happy that I use your quote over at Lobster Blogster?

Observer said...

asks voters to think about politics in a different way from the standard ICM question about voting intentions, which only names parties.

So we now have opinion polls without parties...good start...let's have elections without parties....clearly The Guardian loves David Cameron

javelin said...

It's looking like Brown will become one of the most disliked PMs in history and cause the break up of the Union.

Man in a shed said...

Can I be a little cynical and suggest that this poll is to help stop Brown becoming the new Dear Leader.

Blair must have some plan to stop him - and this fits.

Anonymous said...

Nadders - can I second verity's comment !!! What a masterstroke, I wish I had thought of it...

Newmania said...

I still think its going to be very very close and this makes the whole devolution question crucial . I never belived the Libs would have anyhting to do with the Tories. I could get nasty

barnacle_bill said...

Better still if the headlines read: "Birthday Party For Gordimmo Down At The Yard - Helping Yates With His Inquiries."
That would put a spoke in the wheel of Gordimmo's ambitions!

Anonymous said...

I polled tactically on YouGov and my hunch would be that many people are doing this now.

My view is that as politicians are lying to us all the time for their own political and fiscal advantage, I'm getting my own back on the lot of them through the polls.

Auntie Flo'

Dr.Doom said...

According to this Iain, any sensible Tory worth his economic salt, will re-mortgage their house and bet on Dave'the spliff' Cameron romping home with his huskies.

I have to say, I like to see human misery, especially within the Tory ranks, so please....please..go for it.

Doom.

Londontory said...

I like to see human misery

You must be a Brownite.

neil craig said...

40%, 31% & 19% still only gives the Tories a majority of 34 - not quite "massive", according to
http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/
A good result but, particularly since it is only one poll, a very ling way from safe.

It is also 2 points below the 42% that Thatcher got her majority on.

Brown is also suffering frim the fact that while Cameron can speak out on whatever he wants Brown is constrained to not get out of step with the present leader. When he becomes PM he will have a honeymoon period, everybody does, & if he acyually uses it to do & say something new he could do very well. Cameron has convinced people that the Tories are mostly harmless but that is a strong position only when the other side has nothing better to offer. The Tories have been lucky that both other parties have nothing better at the moment.

Newmania said...

Is Iain still alive does anyone know ?I`m guessing he is slumped over his computer sobbing about Wifey`s windfall, after all ...

" She was working as a cocktail in a waitress bar... when I plugged you ...sob sob.....don`t you want me wifey ......boo hoo...don`t you want me waaaaaa"

That my guess.Snap out of it Dale. Whats happening ?

Richard Dale said...

Helen

Then read it as a 13-point lead!

We know Blair will not be the next leader. Either Brown will be, in which case this is a 13-point lead anyway, or else there will have been a large, divisive bunfight, not a smooth election for the crown prince of New Labour. Now that will certainly affect the popularity of the Labour party. Since Blair's success was based on presenting what has been, for the Labour party, a united front, it is likely that a great show of disunity will reduce their popularity. Also I have not seen any sane suggestion of a new leader who could actually command popularity. Anyone who could has either ruled him or herself out, or been recently connected with events or policies that are desperately unpopular, so are likely to poll worse than Brown in the country.

Even the 9-point lead is the best for 15 years. What happened 15 years ago, in an election?

Anonymous said...

Labour set a date for the "departure" ages ago. It there for a reason. they are the current government and their job is togovern, not bow to tabloid pressure.

As for the conservatives, "the grey man" made some very unpopular comments and moves regarding the "family" and despite Cameron having been there to watch it all happen, HE'S DOING THE SAME.

Bloody idiot.

I trust not a man who cannot learn from previous mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Wonderful - now we should all support David Cameron

Anonymous said...

Iain, any chance of 'toning down' that message space 'advert'. I know these are meant to grab the attention, but this one is irritating in the way of those 'click for a free laptop before the timer stops' pop ups and might actually drive traffic away from your site. At least stop it from 'flashing' so frequently - it is worse than a cheap eighties disco..

Also, rather than fill the site with used car adverts - perhaps you would be better auctioning off your old ties for a charitable cause ?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mike S

I really think your rose tinted specs may now be covered in blood... "Labour come out top on Terrorism.....was the question - which party has most encouraged nutter terrorists with idiotic foreign policy?

Knob

Ralph said...

Iain,

It's better news. What the poll seems to show is that it is the Labour Party people are getting sick of not just their leader. The difference between with Blair and with Brown is only 2% well within any margin of error.

David Lindsay said...

Don't believe a word of it. The aim of opinion polls is not to measure public opinion, but to influence it.

In this case, it is to influence it in favour of making Labour feel compelled to choose an Oxonian Leader instead of Gordon Brown. PMs are allowed to have an Oxford degree, or no degree: that is The Rule. And Brown falls into neither category.

Anyone who really does think that polls are there to measure public opinion should have stopped paying attention to them 15 years ago, when they mis-predicted the 1992 General Election by more people than there were living in the United Kingdom at the time, or whatever it was.

And this latest one, like all of them these days, has had to be recalculated to exclude the constant 34-37% that says, not that it "doesn't know", but rather that it is determined not to vote next time. What if, between now and then, a movement were to arise which was capable of taking even half of those missing votes?

stalin's gran said...

What lunatic political party would replace an unpopular leader with one who was even less popular?

Anonymous said...

Don't believe Mr Dale's sob stories / fake envy about Wifey's Windfall.

I bet he is about to spend at least that sum on his new Audi with Wi-Fi [so he can surf Wifey], Telly, so he can look behind when reversing, and those rose-tinted rear view mirrors, now that he is reaching his nostalgia years. Not to mention the on-board camera, a la 'Top Gear' so he can phone in Doughty Street interviews when he is stuck on a motorway somewhere between Royal Tunbridge Wells and the smoke.

Not to mention that it will be a 'limousine' so that he can take his chums to watch West Ham, without the expense and inconvenience of having to get one of those 'boxes'.

All that remains is for 'Duchamps' to choose the colour scheme..

All the best.
p.s. reports that will have an ejector seat for verity are just vicious rumours.

Marcusian said...

As a Labour Party supporter i think its essential that we have a contest, however i dont see where we have the other candidates to make this a contest.

I worry about the ICM poll, but there is such a long way to go...Cameron has a massive 'actual policy' shaped hurdle in front of him, and Gordie has time to get his own brand together.

David Lindsay said...

Oh, and where was this polling actually conducted? No doubt in the South-East, where the Tories already hold most of the seats anyway, having re-captured most of their 1997 losses there. A fat lot of good that has done them.

Meanwhile, they are in a worse state than ever in Scotland, Wales, the North and the Midlands, where their loss of first many and then most of their seats first nearly and then actually cost them office in 1992 and 1997 respectively; and in the West Country, where their battle against the Liberals makes the difference between a majority Government and a hung Parliament at every General Election.

But will anyone have been polled in Scotland, Wales, the North, the Midlands or the West Country? No, of course not!

hatfield girl said...

London and the south east are short-changed by the Chancellor. Despite accounting for nearly one-fifth of the UK economy London has little public investment in skills and reskilling, some of the most heavily overcrowded and dated transport systems, delapidated and inadequate housing stock, and such low investment in other infrastructures as to threaten London's role as the engine of the UK economy.

Oxford Economics finds (and is reported in the Independent) that the average person living or working in the capital pays about £1,740 a year more in tax than is got back back in public spending on infrastructure such as roads and schools. The South-east and East Anglia contribute more than £1,000 a head each year to the rest of the country, the rest being a drain on taxpayers.

Northern Ireland, the most heavily-subsidised region, has each resident receiving £3,700 a year more in public spending than they pay in tax; Scotland, Wales, and the North-east are other big benefactors. London, the South-east, and East Anglia together have paid out a net £250bn over the past 10 years.

Regional policy supports areas of the UK that have failed to respond effectively to the disappearance of traditional industries and there are valid economic arguments that they have been hampered in doing so by the moral hazard effects of such subsidy.

That frittered away £13 billion a year, had it been invested in London and the south east over the last ten years, would have produced an economic miracle that could have carried the whole UK into modern, wealth-generating productivity.

Gordon Brown and his Labour Party union faction have wrecked that opportunity for a decade. Why should we put up with him getting the chance to continue when the outgoing prime minister could choose a general election ? And we could then choose a productive economy for the whole United Kingdom, not a degrading welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Hang On,
There was another poll just a few days ago of which there was no mention whatsoever on the Tory blogs where the Tories where still flatlining and UKIP were up at 5% to 7%.
Not only that but in the real world in recent local elections the Cons were trounced by the BNP!
The Fat Lady hasn't even got of her arse yet!

Anonymous said...

Re David Lindsey-looking for anyone polled in Scotland,North, Wales and Westcountry.
Yes!-lets hear if you were polled for Daves ex employers survey?

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Tom Tyler said...


"That is insane. I know FPTP isn't perfect, but can't someone at least try and balance things out a bit more fairly?"

I no longer believe in FPTP because it just reflects the wishes of the "Man Utd" fans of the voter world - a few thousand floating voters in 60 marginals easily influenced by the spin of the the Party that Murdoch thinks is going to win.

The party's then choose leaders to please the media.

FTTP now = media consensus opinion running the country = Murdoch running the country.

PR will save us. Nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Tory boys were better at 'giving massive wood' than 'giving massive lead'. Except, of course for John Major who Eggwina reminds us is cold and grey throughout.

Dr.Doom said...

I hope you realise Iain, that the rules have changed via the NEC.

Any new member can vote in the forthcoming election,regardless of time served.

This may have a significant impact upon the outcome.

Doom.

hatfield girl said...

Doom @12.28
So for whatever it costs to join the Labour Party (£12? something like that?) a vote can be bought to choose the next leader of the Party. And if the people with the very old books on the British Constitution and how it works have their way, choose the Prime Minister for the next three years.

Seats in the upper house of the UK legislature for loans and donations is nothing compared to the selling off of the office of PM on easy terms.

Neil Craig said...

Gran said "What lunatic political party would replace an unpopular leader with one who was even less popular?"

The answer is almost all of them. By definition the incumbent is better known than the replacement. Brown is far better known than most but even so does not get the media coverage Blair does.