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No comments on this thread! A 9% lead would once have provoked a thread of delight. now it's 'oh another big Tory lead!!'

Back in the 90's the Tories would poll in the low 20's and Labour in the 50's. Yet in the '97 General Election the Tories polled 10% higher and Labour 10% lower. My only hope is that in the 90's Tory voters were ashamed to admit it whilst now Labour voters have no shame. How else can you explain nearly a third of the country backing this rabble of bungling idiots.

More promising news there - from a pollster that tends to be Labour-friendly in its results.

And the LibDem rise has not been at our expense - let's hope that remains the case after mid-December.

41% get in!!! although no time for complacency

The Tories are making hay, of course. But their party is now so confined to the South East and East Anglia that it has no more chance of removing the Government than has, say, the SNP, or Plaid Cymru, or any of the parties peculiar to Northern Ireland. (In which case, with no Tory bogeyman that really exists, what is the point of the Labour Party?)

And anyway, what POLITICAL difference would a Tory victory make? There is none. But that will be the question, and the answer, that really matter over the next year and a half.

Since we look like we are around 2 years away from bottler Brown having to call an election let us all hope that the Party can do what is ncecessary to preserve and build upon any opinion poll lead and not simply rely upon Labour remaining unpopular to do the trick.

It looks like Brown is living up to his micro management tag. Polls come and they go. What the Conservatives and David Cameron and the Shadow Team in particular need to keep doing is attack. Dont let labour of the hook. They have squirmed their way out of too many situations in the past ten years and now it seems at last the Conservatives have found the guts to fight their corner and show Brown and his cronies for the shower they really are.

Well, let me be the wise old man.

If this is the best the Tories can be in the current dire circumstances, then it still going to be an uphill battle.

The LibDem numbers WILL improve.

The Lab numbers WILL improve.

And the electoral system is still stacked against Cameron.

If there were elections in, say, 6 weeks from now I am not at all certain the Tories would win a majority.

David Lindsay,
If you don't know what a Tory victory is about you are either new to this site, or on the wrong site. The Labour party can be found at 'LabourHome', but you probably know that already.
Why don't you go and try and wind them up love, because we aren't too bothered and you might have more luck with them.
You can have a chat with Goldie. You guys must be desperate if this is what you do for entertainment on a Friday night.

A great post from Northernhousewife!

It's a sad coincidence that the more Labour-friendly pollsters are publishing their results as the Government crises escalate. I believe Populus is next, and they gave Labour a small lead in early November. If ComRes had carried out their research now they might have given us a lead of around 15%.

Remember even after the utter and complete incompetence of the Winter of Discontent, Maggie only got a 43 seat majority. We should be happy with any poll that gives us a working majority. We're almost there, but not quite.

When was the field work done for this poll?

A 9% lead is good, but only good. We need to be pushing on more in the wake of the government's recent turmoil, but it seems the Libs are profiting most here.

Ah, here's the answer. UK Polling Report:

The poll was conducted between the 23rd and 27th (Friday to Tuesday), so as with YouGov’s poll most of the data would have been collected before Labour’s problems with funding.

Any poll carried out over the next few days will probably see Labour go sub30. The LibDems are likely to take more of the labour losses than us, but we will get some, seeing us at 43-44%.

Given that we cannot actually force an election, enthusiasm over instantaneous poll-ratings is moot.

Rather, we should all sit back, open another bottle of Veuve Cliquot, enjoy the smell of Schadenfreude and wait. Remember - recent history shows that elections are more lost by the party-in-power than won by the opposition.

I've just seen on politicalbetting.com that this would give the Tories a 2 seat majority. If it had been Labour on 41% they would have a majority of over 120. How on earth did the Tories let this distribution of seats happen?

I think predicting seats in terms of uniform swings is a bit iffy. There will be quite a lot of seats where voters know they can use the closest opposition party to turf out a Labour incumbent. Most of the time that will help Conservatives further.

It's the economy stupid. If we take a lead of circa 10% into a period when the economy tamks, as it will, Brown is surely toast.

Tally Ho old chaps! Bravo! When are you going to make it legal for me again to murder foxes you bloodthirsty lot?

It may be "the economy stupid" but I am certainly not rooting for a recession. I can't afford it. How did a booming economy work for John Howard?

Hopefully it will be, to misquote Ronald Reagan talking about Walter Mondale "Gordon, they just don't like you."

Dear St. John,

In either 2009/10 when your corrupt and serially incompetent administration is removed from power.

Next question?

Steady the Buffs! We haven't seen the whites of their eyes yet. Hold your fire.

What the Conservatives need to do, when this sleaze row has settled into the folk lore of the electorate's collective mind, is to remind them of Labour's incompetence and its various and manifold policy failures - bit-by-bit, drop-by-drop - eroding the perceived view that they have ever been able to manage any aspect of the proverbial whelk stall.

Brown and his woeful crew still blame any set back on factors outside their control or even the Conservative government of the 80s and 90s! People must be constantly reminded that all the ills we face today should be laid at Labour's door. The have been in power for over 10 years for God's sake! Brown is the past - Cameron is the future!

Brown is very vulnerable on ruining the private pensions industry. The Tories scored some hits on this earlier in the year, which helped contribute to the good local elections in May (when 911 seats were gained).

It's time to bring this issue back, and keep pressing it.

@Iain Murray.
43 is a working majority, yes but Major only got 21 and look at the world of trouble that got him in.

Even on today's results, given the electoral map, this might result in an even smaller majority for Cameron. As a result, his government could be held captive by a small number of, for example, extremely europhobic MPs (not that there is anything wrong with that, personally I am in favour of withdrawal) -- but in practical terms it could wreck a Cameron government.

@Steve Garner

You are very, very right. If we do this election amid an economic downturn (and one is surely coming) then Labour is really done for.

Brown made a HUGE mistake as I said at the time not to go to the country.

He would have won, albeit in Major '92 style. But a fourth victory --and five more years of Brown-- would have destroyed the Tory party.

What a failure of judgment.

'How on earth did the Tories let this distribution of seats happen?'

Because for years there was a policy of abandoning areas where there was low support, on the grounds that you only needed enough seats for a majority and the rest could go hang. The result was to leave Labour with many places where there was no need to campaign - eg Scotland (!) - so they could focus on attacking the Conservatives in their own heartland.

Cameron's team pay lip service to the idea of taking the war to the enemy, but I must say, if they are now doing so, it doesn't show much.

If there were elections in, say, 6 weeks from now I am not at all certain the Tories would win a majority.
I doubt the Conservative Party would have won a majority at anytime since the 1997 General Election, equally I doubt Labour would have won a majority at any time in the 1980s, or early 1990s prior to John Smith becoming leader.

Labour would have struggled to win a majority if there had been a 1 November or 8 November election though.

Opinion polls always give false hopes and false worries to all sides, all the time it is forgotten that governments running into problems in mid term is the norm, that polls usually show a surge in support for a winning party after a General Election. That frequently many voters are reluctant to admit to how they intend to vote, even in many cases to themselves and that people in many cases say what they think is acceptable to those asking the question.

There are 2 things that need to happen to take the Conservative polling figure to 50%.

1. Cameron needs to learn the trick of doing damage at PMQ's without the anger and aggression. Vince Cable scored heavily with a relaxed quiet humour and measured delivery(Stalin and Mr Bean), DC needs to do the same. It takes skill and confidence, but I think he can do it. He will also do more harm to Brown this way in the long run.

2. The party needs to start demonstrating it cares about the less global things that affect people's lives as well as being visible when it comes to the big issues. I've mentioned elswhere things like lost pensions, closures of Remploy factories, withdrawl of meals on wheels as examples of where the party can, and should, get visibly involved in righting self evident wrongs.

The 10% which will take the party from 40 to 50 will be found in people who are becoming repulsed by Labour, but have yet to be convinced that DC has depth or that the Conservatives are no longer the nasty party.

More well targetted and forensic humour by DC at PMQs, and more visibility on caring/warmth/social conscience will do it.

'How on earth did the Tories let this distribution of seats happen?'

Because it isn't down to distribution of seats. That is a factor but by no means the biggest. Anti-Tory tactical voting is still a major factor.

The predictions are based on a uniform national swing, which assumes that anti-Tory tactical voting continues at the same level as the last election. If the tactical vote unwinds or, even better, becomes an anti-Labour tactical vote, these figures could give us a very healthy working majority, possibly in excess of 80.

There is a good article on Electoral Calculus which explains the various factors which lead to the uneven results.

Its true that governments lose elections and oppositions dont win them. However with the point about the economy, Major won in 1992 despite the economic problems. If the Tories dont have the right economic policies in place and drilled into every voters skulls, then they may give Brown the benefit of the doubt a la Major.

Good point Diablo. The most effective method here is the Chinese Water Torture method. Something new each week. Doesnt have to be something major. Could be something which is relatively quiet and unnoticed. No matter what, keep bringing up new areas, which when threaded in with the patchwork of the other issues already found, is a blanket which you can suffocate Labour with later on.

"I think predicting seats in terms of uniform swings is a bit iffy."

I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking that. All the indications are that the swings will be larger in marginal seats, as they were in 1997 and 1992 when a change of government seemed a high possibility. A uniform swing in '92 would have given us a majority of 61 - it was actually 21.

Tim, given Vince Cable's recent PMQ success with the Mr Bean question, can we have a thread dedicated to possible future questions from the Conservative benches?

Here's my contribution:

""Earlier this year, following the Prime Minister's loss of nerve over calling an election, he published a book on courage. Will his next book be about the importance of honesty and integrity in public life?""

""During the last ten years this Prime Minister's government paid external consultants billions of pounds of tax payer's money to give it advice on how to competently run the country. Given the evidence of the last five months does he feel he's got value for money?""

Who are the 32 per cent who would vote Labour? Do they want to live in an Orwellian nightmare state? They must be to use a polite term 'intellectually challenged'.

Northernhousewife, I couldn't care less whether David Cameron or Gordon Brown won the next Election, if that is the "choice" on offer. It is to that "choice" that I object. Why do you care? Why, specifically, in philosophical and policy terms? There is no reason to. And that is the problem.

Not nearly enough to win, is this the best we can do. The brand must still be tainted. If we can't secure a 20 point lead this week when all the press and media were doing down Labour that is really bad news.

Gordon H, we may well have been closer to a 20% lead if these recent polls had been carried out in the past 3 days rather than last weekend, especially by the polling organisations that tend to give us better results such as ComRes.
There's still time to consolidate - we should be optimistic about 2008. And we should not forget Margaret Thatcher often struggled to be in the lead at all between 1977 and 1979, yet she won the election.
Chins up I say.

I am one of the 32% who would vote Labour- and that figure will rise again. For all of Labour's problems, it is hard for many people to contemplate a reurn to the nightmare of the 1980s when a govenment totally lacking in compassion adn social conscience ruined this great country. That is what you folk just cannot get your collective heads round- hatred for the Tories runs deep to this day!! Incidentally, many of us have fine intellects and are extremely well-qualified!!!

St John Toff @ 17:18

You must have posted this as a wind up!

What Margaret Thatcher found in 1979 was a country verging on bankruptcy with a combination of excessively strong trade unions and weak management (possibly weak because labour governments refused to rein in their paymasters) ruining our industry and thus our economy. The medicine was pretty bloody unpleasant and caused many, me included, to wonder if she was setting the right course. The result was Britain with a strong economy and conditions set fair for the future. All would have been well but for the disaster of ERM, Nonethless Ken Clarke put things back on course only to find the financially incoherent G Brown on hand to tax and spend us into an extremely precarious position today. Brown may well have hidden much of his borrowings (and contingent liabilities) off balance sheet but the albatross of his borrowing will haunt us for many years to come.

Sir John, the economy was in a better shape in 1997 than it was in 1979.

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