PoliticalBetting.com is unimpressed with the reliability of this morning's Communicate Research poll for The Independent. PB's Editor Mike Smithson says that The Independent's new monthly pollster has not 'past vote weighted' their poll (a view echoed by YouGov's UKPollingReport) and has emailed Andrew Hawkins of CR to understand why not. I'll be seeing Andrew at CR's early Christmas party tonight and I'll see if I can learn more then.
There are ingredients to the poll that ring true, however. The Tories enjoy an 11% lead amongst the top AB social group but Labour is making headway amongst skilled manual workers (C2s) and men, in particular. Labour now enjoys a 16% lead amongst C2s and The Independent's Political Editor, Andrew Grice, wonders if the large improvement over the month reflects "the Government's decision to put terrorism and crime at the heart of its agenda and to portray the Tories as "soft" on security issues".
Editor's comment: "This poll is a warning to Conservatives. The party cannot afford to be perceived as weaker on security and crime than Labour, or it will not win the support of a broad enough coalition of voters to become Britain's next Government. A poll at the weekend suggested that security was the only area where Gordon Brown enjoyed a lead over David Cameron. It is sadly inevitable that the international security situation will deteriorate over the coming years as civilisation's enemies gain access to more dangerous and portable tools of terror. Conservatives should not adopt John Reid's cavalier attitude to historic liberties but we must hope that commentator Bruce Anderson's recent suggestion that Phase II of Project Cameron - with "harder-edged" policies on education and crime - really is about to begin. The party leadership should not abandon its environmentalism or the welcome commitment to social justice but core supporters including eurosceptics, the wealth creators of the CBI and families living in unsafe neighbourhoods deserve the attention of the Tory leader, too."
The Communicate Research poll has been added to the ConservativeHome poll of polls and has replaced the most recent BPIX poll - which is now more than two months' old.