Saturday, April 26, 2008

Marginals Poll Heralds More Gloom for Brown

Last October Gordon Brown bottled out of calling an election at least in part because an ICM/News of the World poll in marginal seats predicted the Tories would win 49 Labour seats.

Tomorrow's News of the World carries the results of a similar ICM poll which shows that things have got three times as bad for Labour in the marginals. If an election were held now, the Tories would sweep away 131 Labour MPs and win a healthy 64 seat majority. Key points from the poll...

  • 131 Labour MPs, including four Cabinet Ministers, will be booted out of the Commons.
  • Voters think Cameron is ahead in almost every area, from setting taxes to winning the War on Terror.
  • Working class voters are deserting Labour because of Brown's bungling decision to scrap the 10p tax band.

Ian Kirby, the News of the World's political editor writes...

Today's poll shows David Cameron's Conservatives lead is not just based on
widespread disappointment at Gordon Brown. Despite the fact that the Tories have
not unveiled detailed policies in most areas, they are crucially winning the
debate about who has the best ideas to run the country.

The Tory lead is 6% in the War on Terror, on the NHS a massive 11% ahead. On schools the lead is 13% and on controlling immigration it's 26%. On tax it's 3% and dealing with the rising cost of living it's 6%. But it's not all good news as Brown is still ahead on the best leader to get us out of the credit crunch. Ian Kirby continues...

Pensioners and working class voters show considerably lower levels of support
for Gordon Brown in all areas. And for the first time the Conservatives' support
is growing outside of their South Eastern heartlands. Voters in the North and
the Midlands show the same levels of support. And Cameron's new supporters now
include a third of those who voted Labour in 2005. And for the first time
working class voters are deserting Brown.

It's these findings which will cause Labour strategists most concern and which indicate a tipping point may have been reached among these key groups of voters.

The position of the LibDems is a little unclear. They may well keep roughly the same number of seats, but they will lose seats to the Tories in the South but gain some from Labour elsewhere. ICM's Nick Sparrow comments...

Today's poll suggests that the situation in the marginals is worse than is
indicated by the national polls. And in the next few weeks the parties will see
if this poll is accurate when they fight a crucial by-election in Crewe and
Nantwich.Gwyneth Dunwoody held it a comfortable 7,078 majority in 2005. According to our findings, it is now easily in reach of David Cameron.

Hmm. I'm not counting any chickens on that one. But this poll is real evidence of the progress the Tories are making in all sorts of areas. I'm sure the New Labour Comical Alis will be out in force saying how disappointing this must be for the Tories - poor, deluded fools.

UPDATE 6.31pm: Ian Kirby's full story is HERE. Poll figures in detail HERE.

UPDATE 6.33pm: YouGov has a poll for the Sunday Telegraph which shows a collapse in Labour vote in Scotland as well. SNP 35%, Labour 28%, Conservative 22%, LibDem 12%, Green 3%. This is a massive rise in Conservative support and would win them seven Westminster seats.

UPDATE 9pm: The Sunday Telegraph poll shows a ten point Tori leade. More HERE.

35 comments:

Labour Voter said...

It's obviously a terrible poll for Labour, but your comment about Crewe and Nantwich says it all ... of you cannot be confident of winning real seats then the polls are obviously an unreliable guide.

TrevorH said...

What I am thinking is that what has held the Tories back under Blair was the thought of the electorate along the lines - 'Lets still keep voting/supporting labour and wait until Blair retires (as he's been promising) and then we will have that fellow Brown who has been doing such a good job with the economy'.

Blair I think played this game quite well, like the old thesp. that he is, hogging the encores.

Now that in fact Brown has been exposed as PM and his record as Chancellor shot from under him, then Labours support has imploded - it was never as strong as it appeared in the first place.

The epiphany was the called off election and all the bungling propaganda surrounding it, with the visceral moment of Osborne promising to double the inheritance tax threshold being the catalyst where the great host that is middle Britain said, "YESS !!".

Johnny Norfolk said...

I learnt how bad a Labour government was in the 60s. Now a whole new generation has to face up to the fact that they were conned into voting for them. What a mess they have created. The Tories will have to sort it out like Mrs Thatcher did and get bad mouthed for taking the difficult decisions to sort labours mess out.
The way things are going we may have a general election sooner than expected.

Mike H said...

"But it's not all good news as Brown is still ahead on the best leader to get us out of the credit crunch".

Why, oh why, do people believe the spin that Brown is better equipped to steer the nation through an economic downturn?

When I read this crap about Brown being 'the best Chancellor', etc, I'm left nothing short of gobsmacked.

The guy was lucky. That's all. Just plain lucky. He inherited an improving economy, but mostly he pumped up a public and personal credit bubble and he benefited from a flood of cheap goods from China.

Competent he ain't. He's not even vaguely competent. He's actually grossly incompetent. He's frittered away the nations finances and has nothing in the bank for the hard times to come. It's there for everyone to see. So why does anyone believe this rubbish about his competence?

Meeting with the IMF, anyone? That's where Brown will take us.

Competent? Ha!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the grassroots are alive and kicking.

http://uk.youtube.com/user/kenhasfailed

Anonymous said...

lord ashcroft and his team will be delighted at this!!!!

Anonymous said...

YouGov has released a poll for the Telegraph which shows a collapse in Labour vote not only in the south but now in Scotland as well

Scottish results for Westminster are as follows

SNP 35
Labour 28
Conservative 22
LibDem 12
Green 3

According to Electoral Calculus, these numbers would result in the following seats.

SNP 25
Labour 21
Conservative 7
LibDem 6

Can't believe the Tories will win any more seats in Scotland but another sign of Labour meltdown and forthcoming independence for Scotland (and England).

Scottish not British said...

For the Tories in Scotland - 7 seats out of 59 is no mandate whatsoever to govern Scotland in the Reserved areas of the Scotland Act 1998.

(PS Labour have an English majority of about 43 seats alone from the 2005 election)

That's the difference.

Anonymous said...

Sunday Telegraph---SNP 35%, Labour 28%?

(Alan Cochrane will be cutting his throat).

SNP/Plaid to hold crucial bloc of votes--verrrry interesting...

Martin said...

The problem is, that deep down, we all know the Lib Dems will win in Crewe and Nantwich and the whole balloon will burst!

simon said...

The same people in the financial sector that heralded Gordon Brown as a good chancellor are the same people who were giving plaudits to that Fred Goodwin from the rbos for being a 'brilliant' boss of a bank that made 'loadsamoney'. Which leads me to think that the financial system is effectively fooked save for the desperation of those that have most to lose (ie)government and the financial sector) are trying to shore the entire system up using money from those who gain f'k all from the system. Which means if the Tories do get in next time, they will have one heck of a f'n mess to sort out. Or not....

asquith said...

The Tories shouldn't give up on Scotland. Yes, the Barnett formula should be rethought and possibly abolished, replaced with a need-based system of funding which is localised. But the English nationalists shouldn't be given a platform. Take away the legitimate grievances by all means, but don't go any closer to seperation. We need the Tories to be unionist.

Like the civil liberties coalition, we need you on side here. Perhaps you could gain support north of the border. It would be good for you if you got support outside the south-east. Just don't write anywhere off. Great Britain is a beautiful country that we can be proud of, and it should stay together.

Mark Pack said...

It can be risky putting together different partial pieces of information about a poll, but ... the News of the World report suggests the poll is comparable with the one conducted last October.

That had vote share (in the marginal seats) of Con 44, Lab 38, LD 12. The Sun's report gives Con 40 (actually down 4 on last year), Lab 32 (down 6 on last year) and no Liberal Democrat figure.

It is hard to see though with a -4 and a -6 how the full figures won't show a sharp increase in Liberal Democrat support at the expense of both the other main parties.

Mark Pack said...

PS Iain: your link to the poll details goes through to the marginals poll from last autumn rather than this weekend's

Iain Dale said...

Good effort Mark, but I'm happy to trust Nick Sparrow's analysis rather than your rather partial position on this! I think even you would have to admit that there will be some LibDem losses to the Tories.

javelin said...

Gordon has set the SatNav destination on the Labour Party to "Heart of Sun" and locked himself in the cockpit.

simon said...

What?! Asquith can f'k off. Don't give 'english nationalists a platform'?! How 'liberal'. My view of the Jocks is the same as the Maguire clan in 'Shameless'. Asquith resembles a platform. The platform he resembles is the one that pirates made unlucky sailors to walk...

Mark Pack said...

Well, since you raised the topic of seat numbers Iain... the ICM marginals poll in April 2005 predicted the Liberal Democrats would get 48 seats. The actual figure was nearly a third higher than that, so there's plenty of scope for optimism - especially as it looks as if the poll shows Liberal Democrat support to be up sharply since last year :-)

dozzy said...

Tony Blair must be loving all this. He knew all along that Brown was useless, but couldn't say. What a pity he didn't just send him to the back benches on day 1. At least then we'd still have our gold reserves.

asquith said...

Yes, Mark Pack. We have to reach the people who are liberal but may not be aware of it. Also, such authoritarians as Blunkett, Howard and what have you have made "liberal" a dirty word. But they are out there. There is a chance to improve on 2005. What we have to do is once and for all kill this myth that we are split between Orange Bookers and SDP-ites, between Clegg and Huhne. It is a falsehood. Everyone is aiming for the same thing, of course we have different accents but we are the most united party. There's nothing wrong with taking support from people who have voted Labour or Conservative, since both parties have liberals in their voting base.

Anonymous said...

The danger particularly where I live(the West Midlands) is that the Labour vote is collapsing big time particularly in what could be termed traditional Labour Wards and the winners aren't the Conservatives or LibDems but the BNP

dirty european socialist said...

I cannot see how the tories lead on the war and terror when they are against the 42 day rule. Do people just tick the box blindly?fphbq

dirty europeans ocialist said...

I do not feel the SNP have done that good they refused a wind farm on the outer hebridies, and now we have an oil strike that cost us millions.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

I am starting to think it would be good if Boris loses.

If he wins, Broon will get knifed and will retire on the grounds of "ill-health", to be replaced by someone who's less of a twunt. Any other LAbour MP would be less of a twunt.

If Boris loses, Snotgobbler can claim the polls aren't real and real people won't vote Tory. This will ensure he and his evil, spiteful, lying party get utterly eviscerated in 2010.

I am now not going to vote Boris.

stuart said...

'New Labour Comical Alis'. Very good.

Blue Eyes said...

Asquith is having a laugh surely. The LibDems wouldn't know liberalism if it left them alone to get on with their lives.

Chris Goodman said...

Asquith describes himself as a "progressive" which seems to be shorthand for "You pay my wages therefore I expect you to behave in ways I approve P.S. I passionately believe in your freedom to agree with me".

Anonymous said...

hey dirsty euro socialist its because they made a decion in 10 monthas that labour sat on for 2 years that has the SNP popular in the Hebrides and every where else :-)

ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

If the polls keep going the way they are Cameron could come into power with the sort of majority Thatcher got in 1983. As a rule I think big majorities aren't good as they breed complacency and arrogance, think of the poll tax and the Blair years. A former Taoiseach of Ireland Sean Lemass once commented that "the ideal situation is a tight majority of minus 1!" That way no backbencher wants to be the one who brings the government down resulting in them losing their seat or being lynched by their constituency party, and the government has to listen to all sides instead of taking a dogmatic position.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"The danger particularly where I live(the West Midlands) is that the Labour vote is collapsing big time particularly in what could be termed traditional Labour Wards and the winners aren't the Conservatives or LibDems but the BNP"

That's certainly a danger to the liblabcon parasites. Don't see a problem myself.

asquith said...

Blue Eyes, I think you'll find that liberalism grew up between 1906 and 1914. Those that got left behind by the modern world are now calling themselves "libertarians" (which basically means the Daily Mail on drugs) and can mainly be found within the ranks of UKIP and their own pie-in-the-sky party, the LPUK.

Chris said...

The Crewe & Nantwich by-election will be a crucial indicator as to the resiliance or otherwise of the Labour vote in its heartlands. In the dying years of the Major governemnt the Tories were incapable of defending even some of their mightiest citadels. The likes of Newbury, Monmouth, Ribble Valley, Wirrel, Eastleigh, et al all foretold the impending Tory massacre of 1997.

The Labour vote in recent by-elections under Blair proved to be very resiliant. Whether under Brown it is the same. If Crewe is lost to either the Tories or the LibDems by a significant margin then Brown is probably doomed. It would show that the Labour vote has become detached from its and willing to latch onto the strongest alternative party locally to give Labour a kicking.

However if they only just lose it or even hold the seat then those predicting a Labour defeat come the general election should think twice before writing off Brown. Such a result in Crewe would show that the Labour vote is more resiliant than many seem to think it is at the moment.

matt severn said...

196 seats +131 seats= 327 seats, which is a majority of 4. The Tories might take between 2 and 8 seats from the Lib Dems, which would give Cameron a majority of between 8 and 20.

Enough for a full term in office, yes, but it would leave him at the mercy of the hard right Cornerstone Group, and where would the country be then?

I foresee a 4 year Tory government on a small majority followed by a significant period of hung parliaments.

Josh said...

Great Britain is a beautiful country

Great Britain isn't a country. It's an island, which is part of a country, the United Kingdom.

While I agree with your general unionist sentiments, this sort of patronising attitude towards English nationalism is just the kind of thing that stokes it.

It would be fine to bang on about unionism not nationalism if there was consistency. The problem is that while Scottish nationalism and Welsh nationalism is respected in so far as the desire for those national identities is endulged, English identity is proscribed. If Scots are allowed to be Scots and the Welsh, Welsh, the English should be allowed to be English.

asquith said...

I don't patronise anyone, Josh. I am proud of my English identity as well as my British (and for that matter European) identity. To be honest, I wish devolution had never happened and even more so I wish the conditions for it (mainly Scottish and Welsh dissatisfaction with the central govt) had never existed. I'm not sure how to react to the current situation. But then, no one is asking me to decide.

Yes, there's a case for replacing the Barnett formula with local need-based funding, as part of an overall strategy to localise and humanise government. And I'm not saying what we have now is fair. The sentiments of some in England shouldn't be sneered at and dismissed, I know. But I'm against English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish nationalism.