Sunday, June 17, 2007

So What Do We Make of the New YouGov Poll?

Today's YouGov poll in the Sunday Times shows the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 35% and the LibDems on a mere 14%. So should the Conservatives be worried that their lead is now only 2%? Well, it has to be said the last month has not seen the party covering itself in glory, so a case could me made for feeling relieved that David Cameron is still polling at 37%. It's interesting that the rise in the Labour vote seems to be coming more at the expense of the LibDems, who must be very worried at their 14% showing. At this stage in the last Parliament they were consistently polling around 20%.

Most commentators reckoned that Labour would get a bounce in the polls once Tony Blair announced his departure. I wonder if this slight bounce is more of a sense of relief at Blair's going rather than giving a welcome to Gordon Brown. Having said that, I do think Brown will get a temporary bounce - he's bound to with all the media coverage he will get. In some senses, normal politics won't resume until September. As I have said before, I think the polls will be all over the place until then.


Anonymous said...

They surveyed a load of woodentops?

Tapestry said...

Interesting that the grammar school debate hasn't hurt us at all.

Mike Smithson (Politicalbetting) thinks such exposure is good for the Party's support levels, and he should know!

The Portillo-style theory that if we don't populate the middle ground we are sunk, could be becoming out of date.

The departing Lib Dems don't seem to be coming into Conservative ranks for all the efforts being made to bring them in.

There are more voters in the minor parties now (16%) than in Lib Dem ranks (14%) anyway. The people who've left for the minors are all issues motivated voters.

If open debate is good for our chances in this changing scenario, why not encourage more of it? Blair's sucking up to Europe is cringingly embarrassing, as was his relationship with George Bush (Yo Blair). The public are ready to hear about issues and to see if there is a right way or a wrong way to go.

The middle ground theory was based on the fact that no one really cared what happened. They just wanted to avoid the political extremes as these were pilloried in the media. People are less inclined to believe the media than they were. Cameron could take a risk and open up debate in the party's ranks, now Blair's going.

Anonymous said...

In my own constituency I meet many traditional Labour voters who could not vote for Blair and either abstained or switched to the LibDems as a temporary home. I suspect many of these are now "going home" to Labour in the (in my view, correct) belief that a more traditional Labour agenda will emerge under Brown. This would account for the movement from LibDem to Labour in the short term.

However, the potential plus side to this movement will not be picked up for several months. As the Labour Party repositions itself further to the left, new battle lines will be drawn and a substantial block of the "Nu-Lab" base will find themselves ill at ease with Brown's leadership and in search of a new home.

If we can attract this group I can see a position late in the year with the Conservatives on 40%+, Lab in the low 30's and the LibDems been squeezed in the low-mid teens.

Whether Cameron can find the language to appeal to this potential group whilst holding together the base is still open to question.

Anonymous said...

"Who's gonna win the next election?"

"You, guv"

Anonymous said...

Cameron needs to get his confidence back and focus on the issues that really matter.

He must rise above the internal pettiness of the Conservative Party and forge ahead - like the pioneer that he is.

Anonymous said...

"I think the polls will be all over the place until then."

Likewise the slovaks and estonians. What are we going to do about it??

Anonymous said...

"forge ahead - like the pioneer that he is."

Canvas this is like Davey Crocket into the Canadian Widerness, with the helicopter-born electric foot-warmers close behind?

Chris Paul said...

Well. I agree that Brown will get a bounce as a new leader. But I don't agree that it will be temporary in the way that Cameron's has been. The longer Brown is in the job the more substantial he will be. The longer with Cameron ... the more vaccuous.

The polls are always all over the place, even on eves of polls.

The minors strength reflects recent parochial or regional or devolved elections. In a general election some of these votes too will come home to Labour in my opinion. Or - as UKIP and BNP - damage Tories by staying in their shards.

Labour needs to get back some more of our core (as seems to be happening) as well as hanging onto the know-a-good-thing-when-we-see-it third way converts who will always prefer what they've got to an untrusted alternative.

Hughes Views said...

It doesn't look to me to be a particularly comfortable position for the main opposition party to be in two years into a government's third term. At the last comparable time (i.e. 1989) Labour were getting between 40% and 50 % ratings (but still went on to lose in 1992).

And the news that, when the sample were "asked about how they rated Brown and Cameron on a range of qualities, the Conservative leader came off second best on most" won't bring much cheer to the opposition ranks.

The Lib Dems can perhaps take heart - back then they were often in single figures. But which are all these other parties that together get 14% support and where are their voters coming from?

Still, as you imply, there's a lot of water still to flow under the proverbial bridge before the next election (unless you think that the new Mr B might call a 'snap' one?).

Anonymous said...

It's time for the Tories to start behaving like an opposition and attack Brown over his handling of the economy methinks.

Spiralling public spending, the dire stete of the public accounts, trade deficit, falling GDP per head, asset bubbles, record public and private's one almighty mess with the consequences still to come.

Anonymous said...

The new poll shows a steady downwards trend in Cameron's popularity. This will continue and the next election can only be won if Gordon Brown really is as bad as he is painted.

Cameron, and his backing group of Fops, must learn to sing in tune and to sing tunes that are meaningful to the electorate.

Stout ideas on education - not we just copy Blair- are more important to the voter than the plight of the polar bear. Further hand-over of sovereignty to Brussels is more worthy of urgent discussion than banning imports of some timber.

Cameron's new spin doctor must give him some headline matters to bring forward. At the moment he is not getting onto the front pages except over grammar schools.

Ignorance of reality can perhaps be blamed for his choices Bob Geldof as an advisor on poverty, Arnie Schwarzeneger as a neo-Nazi conference speaker and of Willetts and Letwin as spokesmen on anything at all. All 4 of them are jokes and Cameron needs to acquire some gravitas.


Anonymous said...

The Conservatives should be less concerned over the narrowing of their lead (until they are consistently over 40% they are going nowhere) as the Cameron:Brown ratings, which give Brown a lead in all the important areas and crucially, indicate a view that Cameron will say and do anything to gain power. Granted that Brown has secured the recognition that goes with high visibility, and from next week the buck will be stopping with him so things will probably get worse, but Cameron must address the suspicion that everything he does is crafted and that he is no different from any other lying lier lying to us.

Anonymous said...

"Others" tends to be a roughly equal split between UKIP, Nationalists, Greens & BNP

Anonymous said...

The bad news with this poll, if you use the Electoral Calculus site (a good a site as any!), these figures still give Labour a majority of 14 (Tories 281; Labour 332). Good news though the Lib Dems are down to just 6 MPs!

Anonymous said...

I'm on YouGov's research panel, yet, oddly, the polls I've received this month didn't have the usual political section.

Just as well for Cameron, I'm so angry with him for his arrogant treatment of his supporters, even new supporters like me, that I would have voted for Brown to teach Cameron a lesson.

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't read too much into one poll. It should be remembered that the Conservatives leapt into the lead in 1990 when John Major was replacing Margaret Thatcher - there has been no sign of anything equivalent.
We should wait a few months for the dust to settle before making any judgments - it could just be a flash in the pan.

Anonymous said...

Lets just wait for interest rates to go qbove 6%, unemployment to rocket and house prices to crash. The global economy is on the edge as bond markets slumped this week.

Who will voters blame? People vote with their pocket books. Its the economy stupid - never a truer word said.

The Stoat said...

I've subscribed to You Gov for years. I get asked about politics once in a blue moon in a month of Sundays. Do I not fit a demographic or something? Pinch of salt required, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Canvas this is like Davey Crocket into the Canadian Widerness

Davy Crockett was from Tennessee and died at The Alamo....what does Canada have to do with it ?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Dont worry with the way Cameron is going Labour will be back in front.

He should be promoting what true Conservatisam is all about not gimicks.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you state that the Polls will be all over the place.
I would express it as Cameron being all over the place causing confusion, as well as upsetting traditional Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

What exactly are the tories asking people to support.

No policies = No support

Dave Cole said...

I haven't seen the margin of error on that poll. I think, looking at all the others that are coming out, that polls indicate that the Conservatives are slightly ahead of Labour and that Labour are gaining as Cameron's honeymoon starts to come to an end and people are optimistic about the end of Blair, if not necessarily yet the beginning of Brown.

Anonymous said...

Plan B for New Labour if the economy goes t**s up. Blame the global economy and say that New Labour are the only party with the experience to get us through.

Anonymous said...

"No policies = No support"

I'm sorry, but this is a typical comment from someone who doesn't realise that policy-making takes considerable time, investigation, and above all patience.
Announcing all his policies now, two years before the next general election, would not only allow Labour to steal Tory ideas but smack of inflexibility.

Anonymous said...

Consider: New Lab have been the most disastrous government in living memory, with wall to wall ineptitude, sleaze and spin. Almost all their policies are a complete bloody awful. They have begun to dismantle the UK and sown strife not only at home, but abroad too. They manufacture ammo for the opposition on an industrial scale. For 10 years.

A Conservative "lead" of only 2% is a total disaster.

There's simply no other way of looking at it.