Conservative Diary

« Latest Sun/YouGov daily tracker | Main | Nick Herbert launches Conservative policies for farming »

Reasons - from the Guardian - why current polls still point to a Conservative victory

A few disappointing opinion polls can lead to people making all kinds of rash conclusions - and there has without doubt been nervousness in the Tory camp on the back of recent surveys showing a narrowing of the Conservative lead.

As we reported last night, today's ICM poll in the Guardian has the Conservatives back at 37% for the first time in two years whilst this morning's YouGov poll for The Sun reports the Tory lead at 6%.

It is of course a quirk of the electoral system that such a lead does not guarantee a general election victory for the Conservatives, whereas Labour could still win a Commons majority even if the parties were level pegging on, say, 35%.

But the Conservatives have every reason to remain optimistic - even on today's polls - as explained today by Tom Clark, a leader writer for the Guardian, no less.

He suggests that David Cameron very much remains on course to become Prime Minister and offers a variety of reasons:

"Just as Middle England swung more firmly away from John Major and towards Tony Blair than the rest of the country, so there seems every chance that it will swing more heavily away from Gordon Brown. The statistician Andy Cooke has explored the evidence on this point and... suggests that our seven-point lead would be 98% likely to give David Cameron an outright majority."

"The narrowing of the gap we are witnessing seems to relate to perceived improvements in the economy. Our poll today suggests the reds and the blues are running neck and neck on economy, as against a nine-point Tory lead when the question was last asked in August. But there may be reason to doubt this will last. Unemployment is not only the worst social consequence of the slump, but also its most visible manifestation. There were surprise falls over the autumn, but the most recent figures showed the dole queue lengthening again."

Some food for thought for the doom-mongers there.

Not that I am suggesting for a moment that Conservatives should be complacent. Not a single vote has yet been cast and over the next ten weeks the positive reasons for change need to be restated over and over again.

Read Tom Clark's piece in its entirety here.

Wednesday update:

Daniel Finkelstein in The Times has also written a piece along very similar lines and is very well worth reading.

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.