Saturday, January 28, 2006

New Poll in Sunday Telegraph Puts Tories Ahead Again

Just seen this on the Press Association...

"Four out of 10 Lib Dem voters want Charles Kennedy back as leader,a poll revealed today. Some 39% of people intending to vote Lib Dem at the next electionsaid the party would be better off with Mr Kennedy back in charge. But 47% said the party would be better off with a new leader. The ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph is the latest indication ofthe plummeting morale of the Lib Dems. Mr Kennedy quit three weeks ago after admitting to a drink problem.But the party has been rocked by further scandals over the pastweek. Married father-of-two Mark Oaten stood down from the front benchafter he admitted having an affair with a rent boy. And leadershiphopeful Simon Hughes this week came out as a bisexual afterrepeatedly denying he was gay. However, the controversies do not appear to have had much of animpact on the wider public. Asked whether the revelations would make them more or less likelyto vote Lib Dem, 80% said it would make no difference. The poll puts the Lib Dems on 18% support nationally, compared tothe 22% they achieved at the last election. The Tories were on 37%,just ahead of Labour on 36%. :: ICM polled 1,041 people between Thursday and Saturday. "

So the Tories are 1% ahead of Labour and the LibDems are down 4 points. If I were them I would consider that a 'result' after the last 7 days. It's certainly rather better than the 13% in the last MORI poll. Or was it YouGov? The other interesting point is that the Conservatives are now consistently in the 36-40% slot rather than 29-34% which they have been for the last 8 years or so. I'd say that was good progress in Cameron's first 7 weeks. Wouldn't you? Sure that figure needs to become 40-44%, but we're heading in the right direction.


James Hellyer said...

It was the YouGov poll that showed Labour one point ahead.

And I wouldn't use this as too great an excuse for joy. When Michael Howard took over we enjoyed an almost identical sized boost in the polls for a number of weeks (albeit from a much lower base).

The point was that Howard couldn't sustain that. We don't know if Cameron can either.

Iain Dale said...

I'm not sure you're right. I don't remember us getting about 34-35% at any period during his leadership. But you may be able to prove me wrong. Of course it's early days, but on December 6th I think I'd have settled for being where we are now after 6 weeks. Of course if DD had won we'd be in the mid 40s by now! :)

Anonymous said...

You Tories are going to have to wear some more sack cloth for a while yet - this poll is just a repeat of the one in the Guardian earlier in the week - Tories 1% ahead.

Not exactly tip top performance for the opposition and just because it was worse under Hague and IDS I wouldn't be measuring up the curtains for No 10 just yet!

Looks like the Great Helmsman was right once again - let you lot wear youselves out trashing everything you once believed in and when you're no further forward wait for the Bill Cashes of this world to got over the top...

Chris Palmer said...

How pleasant anonymous. Perhaps you could login next time... or are you another Lib Dem that refuses to come out?

James Hellyer said...

I don't remember us getting about 34-35% at any period during his leadership.

Can I refer you to the YouGov tracker? Link (PDF)!

From November 2003 (what happened then?) through to April 2004 the Conservatives had a pretty consistent lead over Labour, and was around 38 to 39%.

The point is that Howard couldn't sustain that - bet the shop on Hutton, etc. and lost.

The problem Howard had was that the people who were undecided about his leadership (and the leadership qualities polls showed there were a lot of them, as there is with Cameron) largely decided they didn't like him.

Something quite so pronounced is unlikely for Cameron (anyone would have done better following from Howard, simply because he was perceived as being so extreme), it's by no means certain that he can sustain this polling.

FWIW I supported Davis and I don't think he would have delivered results as quickly. But as he would have been trying to sell our side, rather than just remove anything associated with it, I think he would have more sustainability.

Modern Conservative said...

I think it feels different. The media never talked about Howard the way they do Cameron. The whole tone is so much more positive. Cameron is expected to do better and that in itself will become a self fufilling prophecy. Political journalists are bored of New Labour they want the next election to be competitive.

James Hellyer said...

The media never talked about Howard the way they do Cameron.

Howard got quite coverage until Hutton didn't go as planned.

neil craig said...

If they can keep up a 6% monthly growth till next Christmas they will get all the votes. The difficulty is telling whether you are being pulled up the roller coaster or have reached the top.

The alternative is that there really is a honeymoon effect & a real but short term lib dem loss & that the Tories are going to wake up barely more popular & with half there PPCs replaced by young, one legged, black women with no political experience.