Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dissecting the Polls

The overnight polls did not make happy reading for those heading to Blackpool this weekend. Populus showed a 10 point Labour lead, while YouGov, for the second poll in a row, showed an eleven point lead. A few points...

* Labour's lead is gained from LibDem voters who are returning to Labour
* The Conservative vote is consistent at 32-34% but shows no sign of rising
* Parties usually get high ratings after their conferences

But that's the only comfort that can be drawn. The Brown-Cameron comparisons in the YouGov poll do not flatter the Tory leader and this week must be used to narrow that gap. The most interesting point from the YouGov survey was that 58% of people think Labour would win an election now, but might not if Brown delays calling it. That's a crucial finding.

There was positive coverage in the Mail this morning for a £2,000 tax break for families, and a hint that George Osborne will announce plng term plans to abolish inheritance tax. Let's hope there are a few more policies like these, which will appeal to a whole swathe of people in the centre and on the right.

The consensus seems to be that Brown will call an election on October 8th, the first day Parliament returns, with November 1st or November 8th being the two probabilities.

I also understand Gordon Brown has a good stunt planned to impinge on the Tory conference. Now there's a surprise.


Man in a Shed said...

It is of course bad manners to try to upstage another party' conference, as any English man knows.

But then Brown isn't English and clearly his parents didn't teach him proper manners.

pxcentric said...

So the Useless Tories think that the way to combat adverse opinion polls is belatedly to produce a few policies.

Quite brilliant.

There is only one thing left for them to do now: pray that Stalin McSporran bottles it.

Praguetory said...

Long term plans? In 1997, I think Labour had long term plans to link pensions to earnings and abolish the non-dom tax loophole.

Tax pledge number one ought to be to take minimum wage earners out of paying income tax to be implemented at our first budget.

Ted said...

If Brown plans a stunt then why doesn't one of the Shadow Cabinet make a big thing about it now?

"Brown's all spin, playing games with the voters, understand he's planning some stunts this weekend and next week. He says he's a serious politician but for three months all we have had is political games. We aren't playing, we think the choice of government of Britain is serious"

boanerges said...

I agree that some sort of stunt is in the offing. Why not pre empt the possibility by telling all and sundry that the party is expecting a cheap, opportunistic gimmick.
If he does come up with something the party can say it was expecting it and it proves Brown is more into spin than substance than even that other guy, what's his name, Blair. Of course, if nothing turns up the line is that he bottled it.
As they say 'attack is the best form of defence'

Anonymous said...

You might want to have a word in David Camerons Ear. The married couple or (otherwise couplet) with three children is discriminated against.
You cannot go on holiday without booking two rooms in a hotel - the stupid 4 in a room rule stops that - why not Mum Dad and the three little ones under 12 in a hotel family room. In this case the Madeleine situation may not have happened if they had been in bed in a hotel rather than apartments.
Taxis with more than five seats are few and we cannot travel in a four seat taxi.
Monitoring in swimming pools and leisure activities are moving to
one to one.
Three kids on child seats in the back of a car is sheer torture.
I can go on and on because of current legislation---
Do have a word!

The Daily Pundit said...

A good stunt? What about a major terrorist plot being foiled on Wednesday morning? Mind you, I doubt even Labour would stoop .....

Anonymous said...

Whilst we're mentionineg the Daily Mail. - Peter Oborne in to-day's edition had the right's of it.

If the Conservatives don't reduce or contain Gordon's Parliamentary Majority(no chance of actually winning I'm afraid) then Cameron is gone(So is Osborne) and those that think a leader from the right such as David Davis can then rescue the party are quite frankly deluded. The Conservative Party would be finished as a credible opposition.

Simple choice then really. Those people who think they know how to win an election and cannot wait to speak to the press criticising Cameron and the present leadership can button it and unite in the hope that the worse doesn't happen or they can continue and in the fullness of time either join the Labour Party or UKIP or God forbid the LibDems as the Conservative Party goes into Opposition for another 5 - 10 years and becomes an inconsequential and largely ignored Right Wing Debating Club for the embittered and those whose opinions of their talents are sadly not rated as highly by the electorate as they are by themselves. After almost 18 years of this self-destructive lunacy it would be pleasant if for once the Tory Party realised whom they are supposed to be fighting against !

Ralph said...


Every Tory who gets on TV in the next 48 hours should be saying a shorter version of Ted's 'Brown plays silly political games, we don't' speech as if it was a mantra.

I look forward to hearing you do it on Sunday morning.

Geoff Gilson said...

Hey Iain and Fellow Dalers,

It has been a year since I wrote to David Cameron asking him to come clean on my book, "Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch", and its ground-breaking “Cash-from-Arms” allegations ( that both Conservative and New Labour Governments, in the past 25 years, have received huge kickbacks from UK arms sales.

And what a year it has been!

The mainstream media are, slowly but surely, playing catch up with the main thrust of "Dead Men," right down to describing the same money channels through the Bank of England. All they need now are the hidden money trails into the two political parties themselves – the details of which are to be found only in "Dead Men."

David Cameron himself acknowledged the veracity of the arms corruption claims in "Dead Men" by posting my letter to him on his new web-site, WebCameron. Well, that is until the BAe scandal promised to make a bad year even worse, and Cameron’s staff expunged it – oops!

Not to worry, former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, stepped to the crease, and confirmed the contents of "Dead Men," in so far as they related to arms corruption in the Conservative Party.

Norman Baker, the Liberal M.P. who alleged in his book that government bio-scientist David Kelly did not commit suicide, has agreed to undertake his own investigation into the circumstances of Hugh Simmonds’ death. One major TV production company is in talks to create a documentary. And an American screenwriter is working on the movie.

Publication of "Dead Men" has caused others to come forward with verifiable information of their own – including the fact that Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Liam Fox, signed Simmonds’ death certificate.

Meanwhile, a new source has opened up within MI6 itself. Which is bad news for both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, neither of whom have any immediate plans to stop the flow of illicit arms bribes into their parties’ coffers.

So, stay tuned ( as the noose tightens this coming year on the “Cash-from-Arms” sales scandal. Have a Happy Conference!

Anonymous said...

The thing is it's obvious to all and sundry that Cameron and co DO play silly political games, if he didn't we'd probably have a few more policies right now. Cameron and Osborne are seen as lightweights who have waited HOW long to come up with some policies? Remember the ridiculous posturing over Grammar schools which was then trashed? Remember him taking a bike to Westminster, followed all the time by his private car?

Anonymous said...

I am a supply teacher. The agency paid me £120 a day to travel to Hereford to do two weeks for a teacher on paternity leave. After tax and national insurance I had £80 and after travelling expenses $65. And our party wants to abolish inheritance tax that only 5% of people pay?

Tapestry said...

Brown is obsessed with the Conservative Party. Could it be because he seems to be exact replica of a Conservative leader from yesteryear?

Jealousy of others who shine. Inability to work with people who don't readily accept his ideas. Appointing minnows who pose no threat. Pushing out all the stronger players (Clark, Reid e.g.). Expecting Unions to accept par rises below inflation. Lying about Europe. Losing control of inflation. Over-centralising. Holding an election of which the primary theme is 'Who Governs Britain?'

Recognise anyone?

Anonymous said...

with November 1st or November 8th being the two probabilities.

How about November the 5th?


Chris Paul said...

Dave, George and Boris too ... and that Goldsmith wallah ... gone gone gone. Whatever we may think of equal rights for toffs ... it sadly ain't going to happen ever again. Might as well take those city jobs right now boys.

Anonymous said...

There is a crucial thing to understand with opinion polls, how to interpret them and what to do about what they say. That is that really it is a remarkably small proportion of the electorate who ever actually change the party they intend to vote for.

In these times of low turnouts (it is a pretty safe bet that next time round, fewer than 50% of the registered electorate will vote), the issue for a party is whether they can get the people who are sympathetic towards them sufficiently motivated to get on their feet, out of the door and down to the polling station to cast a vote. It is a very reasonable interpretation of at least the past three general elections that the poor Tory vote has been due, not to people who previously voted Conservative switching to Labour or the LDs, but to Conservatively-inclined people not being strongly enough motivated to vote.

In my view, it is becoming genuinely urgent that Labour is voted out. I think people understand that voting Conservative is the only realistic way to achieve this. The crucial need is not to try to convert existing Labour or LD voters, but to get basically middle-of-the-road people sufficiently gee-ed up to go and vote.

Negative campaigning has a big part to play in this. It is great to get people wound up positively for the Tories, but getting them cross about things that they hate, and which the government is doing, or plans to do, will be hugely effective, and also very achievable.

I want to hear some concerted voices on things like the EU Treaty referendum, ID cards and pension theft. I want to see some unity and shared purpose in the party. And I want the dissidents to shut up for a while, because now is not their time - the stakes are just too high.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04

Cameron is not a conservative. If the only way to win is with him, then the Conservative party is already dead.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Cameron is not a Conservative and although he tries to disguise himself as such, his protective colouration is lacking. Every word out of his mouth betrays him.

Anonymous said...

"But then Brown isn't English and clearly his parents didn't teach him proper manners."

I can assure you that anti-Scottish comments about Brown from the Cameron people will NOT do them any favours with many in the electorate myself included.

bernard said...

Brown call an election in November?!
All that rain, fog, chill, and dark by 5PM.
I've been polling millions of Asians and Africans, and not one would venture out in such weather.

Anonymous said...

How did the Asians and Africans get the right to vote in our elections? Are they citizens?

Unknown said...

I'm with Ralph and Ted, It should be obvious what Brown is doing, make it clear from the start that he is going to be playing games.

Never been less proud to have Scottish antecedents. He is a ghastly little scrote.

Anonymous said...

I am a Labour Party sock puppet.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Here is a little game to play as respite from the depressing election outlook:-

Every Prime Minister since the war can have his tenure summed up by one word...

Churchill - WW2
Atlee - The Welfare State
Eden - Suez

etc., etc.

Anyone else want to play?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I should have said, "and or phrase"

Anonymous said...

WW - But there's two for Maggie:


Privatisation. Which has since been followed by the entire world.

So perhaps that one word should be 'privatisation'.

Anonymous said...

Edward Heath - Traitor.

Anonymous said...

Churchill: nation
Attlee: nationalisation
Eden: capitulation
Macmillan: hibernation
Douglas-Home: desperation
Wilson: expectation
Heath: confrontation
Callaghan: devastation
Thatcher: restoration
Major: degeneration
Blair: depredation
Brown: annihilation

Anonymous said...

In Brown's last budget he decreed Fuel would rise by 2p a litre in October.

Perhaps his cunning stunt might have something to do with that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quote on Boulton blog (Jon Craig) re alleged text message to Jeremy Corbyn MP from his weather forecaster brother Piers:

"Late Oct and Nov beset with SERIOUS storms. Election bad idea. Labour turnout way down. Ask Gordon if he wants to know when storms."