« David Cameron's non-reaction | Main | Conservatives to vote against WW1 pardons? »


Brown was on classic form on oily Andrew Marr's AM show this morning. He really the most crass spinner of them all.

Marr - What were you laughing at?

Brown (obviously waiting for question) - I was laughing about my new baby.

He doesn't lie in a cheeky Livingsonian way - he actually expects to be believed. Who advises him? Remember the bollocks about how GB loved the (then uber hip) Arctic Monkeys. Preposterous.

His laugh is the weirdest, most insincere laugh I've ever heard.

He needs some serious cognitive therapy - not the Premiership.

He seems to be a fantasist as well.

This poll is very interesting. Surely it can't be long before the Lib Dems act to change. A nervous conference for Ming (if he's still alive. Not seen him for weeks)

Isn't there a problem with all this excitement on the part of "Dave" enthusiasts in that at the end of the day the economy is doing rather well, unemployment is low, and most people feel OK about the way things are right now?

I see these interim polls as essentially a "protest vote" against Blair's mishandling of Iraq, peerages-for-cash etc and he's going anyway. If voters remain satisfied with their economic lot generally they'll return to Labour when the time comes.

If you really think "Dave" is inspiring the masses look at the last by-election flop.

I forsee a Tory re-run of THAT Kinnock victory rally.

It'll all end in tears.

Pip! Pip!

This poll is interesting, but before anyone gets carried away I don't see them losing as much as 8% of their vote at the next election. A vote share around 18% is probably more likely; though even that would be 4-5 points below their total in 2005 :-)

Don't know how reliable this BPIX is, what methods do they use:face to face,phone,internet, anyone out there know?
The interesting thing is, the polls aren't changing much 1% here or there, between Con and Lab, the Libdems are often difficult to place, on the 'day' they often poll better anyway. There is however no sign of a Labour 'collapse' Labour is only 4/5% below its GE figure. With three years to go, its anybodys guess. We live in uncertain times.

I wouldn't worry too much about Cameron's fairly average ratings. He's been out of the newspapers for 3 months, and we still have few hard policies to offer the electorate.

As for the 10 point lead... Where are those who think we should be 20 points ahead? Have they finally admitted defeat?

The effect of the Blair/Brown Wars is to push people into the minor parties, not to Lib Dems certainly, or Conservatives.

If this poll is correct, 84% of the vote is going to the major parties. That gives 16% to the rest, up from around 12%. We don't know which parties are picking up the extra votes, as we are not told, but the Greens and the BNP are obviously likely beneficiaries.

The minors don't operate in the media mainstream. They leaflet, use the net and build support the old fashioned way. It is not impossible that one of these parties will overtake the Lib Dems in the next two years.

I'd go further than Voice from the South. In opinion polls, what goes down can also go up. There is no underlying reason why the Liberal Democrat vote should not recover. As far as I can see, the only negatives are Campbell's early lacklustre performance and some popular unease at the way Kennedy was ousted. Neither strike me as significant determinants of voting intention. The Lib Dem vote share is down for the usual reason - one that Andrew Woodman touched on - namely that they haven't been on TV lately. Their conference will cure that; this time next week they'll be back on 19% or 20%.

Er, obviously I meant "this time next fortnight".

Penultimate Guy - For a third party their face and voice is their leader; I do not see Ming Campbell as a vote winner and that's why their ratings are down.

It is not impossible that one of these parties will overtake the Lib Dems in the next two years.
I expect the Liberal Democrats to drop back to around 14% of the vote at the next General Election but hold probably 20 or 30 of their seats through tactical voting, I think though it is improbable that even UKIP will even do close to as well as the Liberal Democrats at the next General Election - 6% or 7% of the vote at the most, over the next 10 years I expect Labour largely to recover the voters it has lost to the Liberal Democrats and those Labour voters who have not simply been turning up, equally I expect the Conservatives to start making sizeable gains off the Liberal Democrats and recover people who haven't been voting and make some gains off Labour; I rather expect the Liberal Democrats will recover a bit in a decade or so and that the Labour Party will end up falling apart in the 2020's and the Conservatives will return to power for decades, I don't actually expect Labour to be destroyed totally, it's quite possible that UKIP could emerge to replace the Conservative Party over a number of decades and there could be a spell of coalitions followed by UKIP government but such changes take time to happen - large parties seldom collapse totally all at once, you only have to look at how in total chaos with a leader who didn't have a suitable temperament to be leader and who espoused quite bizarre positions and yet was still able in 1983 to get 27.5% of the vote.

'No reason why the LibDems should not recover'?

Here are a few:

1. The war protest is old hat.
2. They have no policies (except be pro Euro and Europe)- never have had.
3. They have no leader in any real sense.
4. They have been dishonest with the electorate (Kennedy, Hughes, Oaten).
5. They are associated in people's minds to be alligned to labour- who are a mere 5 points above the WORST showing John Major ever got.

UKIP to replace the Conservatives and form a government. Ye Gods what spaceship did you come down on!
Still we get all this nonsense of talking the party down at every opportunity.
We should be rejoicing that things are going well and re-dedicate ourselves to working even harder for victory.
Now is a time for Conservatives to stand proud and tall and look forward to a new Cameron government not walk around like an army of Victor Meldrews.

I forsee a Tory re-run of THAT Kinnock victory rally.
This isn't 1988 though, Gordon Brown is very different from John Major and David Cameron is not Neil Kinnock, and vice versa, and Menzies Campbell certainly is not Paddy Ashdown - he doesn't have Paddy Ashdown's drive or discipline which was what in 1992 actually managed to salvage things to the point to where their actual total vote was hardly down on 1987, in 1988 the Salads were in a far worse position than the Liberal Party had been in previously since the 1970 General Election - easily it could have ended up with the Liberal Democrats only getting 6 or so seats.

Neil Kinnock's problem was that he had been very much a radical MP much more inline with people such as Tony Benn when it came to Economic policy and policies on Defence and Public Spending, as such in 1983 he was very much going against what he actually believed in and what most in the Labour Party believed in, his beliefs gradually changed to the point where his thinking is actually mainstream in the Labour Party - on the other hand people such as David Blunkett and Gordon Brown always had aspects of their political beliefs that did not accord with the Trots who were dominant in Labour in the 1970's and 1980's and even by 1997 his position had already shifted considerably as well - a lot of people are expecting Gordon Brown to hold the opinions of Gordon Brown circa 1983 not circa 2006 - Tony Blair went through some similar transformations although he was always less ideolological including over New Labour, there has been a lot of emphasis over the past 16 years and in Labour 21 years on spin and following temporary fluctuations in popular opinion rather than following a clear line already decidedand the drift under John Major when there wasn't really a clear central plan of government strategy, it could be a re-emergence of what Denis Healey used to refer to as the Hard Centre - a more sort of paternalistic Labour element suspicous of Fabians and hostile to Communists as much as to Neo-Liberals, Liberals and Conservatives and quite prepared to take on anyone who gets in the way including the Trade Unions.

UKIP to replace the Conservatives and form a government
At some point in the 21st Century, I didn't say definitely I only said it was a possibility, people are going to want a return to stronger government and a purging of Social Liberals and if the Conservative Party isn't prepared to do this then people who want this are going to look elsewhere, the 3 main parties can't take it for granted that they are still going to be there in 100 years time - it is quite possible to imagine an election in 100 years in which UKIP and the Green Party are vying for power, or indeed a DUP that has moved to national politics and the Green Party vying for power, maybe the BNP will really shed their past at some point in the future (as South Africa's National Party eventually did) and there could well be by 2100 the possibility of them and the Greens and the DUP or UKIP being the main parties - not neccessarily as they are now, after all neither Labour or the Conservative Party are the same party they were 100 years ago really.

The problem with all these 'national' polls is that they are an aggregate of opinion and not specific to the kind of seats we need to win. A poll of Lib Dem-held constituencies would be far more useful. The Lib Dems are not trying to win nationally; they are targetting only those constituencies they can win and, in those, their 'rating' is much higher than 14%

(if this is a duplicate apologies - the original just vanished from the preview box!)

CDM asks "Where are those who think we should be 20 points ahead? Have they finally admitted defeat?" Answer - We're here, saying - er - "we should be 20 points ahead"

Tapestry -You say we don't know how the "Others" breaks down. Oh yes, we do, if you look at the ICM website (http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/latest-polls.asp)
No time to check now but memory produces something like: SNP 5%, Plaid Cymru 3%, Greens 3%, UKIP 2%, Ulster parties 2%.


But there's no point in bothering. We're going to get the same profligate unreforming government whomever we vote for. Blair is a disaster noted for his lying and spin. Cameron breaks his promises and is notable for his spin. Policies - almost identical

So why bother?

The problem with all these 'national' polls is that they are an aggregate of opinion and not specific to the kind of seats we need to win.
There has been more localised polling recently and polling of specific groups in fact I even recall such back in the 1980's, suggestions of such polling have been that Labour's standing among Muslims (in terms of how many would actually vote Labour) has actually been recovering steadily with other polls suggesting that a lot of the fall in the Labour vote and rise in the Conservative vote lately has been focused in the South of England and Midlands. Of course the major problem remains that people lie to pollsters and that they even lie to themselves so they may tell pollsters what they think they are going to do and be wrong about it - people saying they are going to vote always seems to be higher than those who actually end up voting (there must be an element of mistakes causing votes to be ineligible, last minute unforseen occurences stopping people voting such as that they intend to vote on the day but have to work, or that they at the last minute decide that there is no need for them to vote - Labour voters especially seem to be prone to these things) and of course there is fashion, people like to protest especially in Mid-Term at a point where the government is trying to get through the more controversial parts of it's agenda.

And then of course there is possible effects of opinion polls on actual voting, I am doubtful whether polls should be allowed during the General Election campaign - the polls themselves have an effect, such a poll as the one above for example if on election night could convince people that the Conservatives were going to win anyway and large numbers of people might either not turn up or attempt to limit the size of a possible majority by voting for other parties and the Labour voters would be more likely to turnout to attempt the size of a Conservative majority and so if the poll had actually already been quite substantially wrong it could end up actually helping Labour win a majority, it's something I've actually changed my mind on in the past 20 years, the wild figures put out in opinion polls even after they were supposedly reformed in 1992 - the Conservatives were never as low as 17% support really - maybe 28% at the very lowest and Labour were never as high as 64% really, never more than 50% really in the 1990's and so far this decade.

It's the reporting that makes it even worse - supposedly in 2005 Labour won a great victory and the Conservatives had a great leap forward with the Liberal Democrats advancing - actually really only the last was true, the Conservatives merely had a very slight reversal in a trend of a fall in their total numbers of votes going back to 1992 and gained seats because Labour had another drop in support. In 1964 and 1974 Harold Wilson's return to power was based on a drop in the Conservative vote, the media always feel that there has to be a winner and loser - the 1987 and 1992 elections actually saw a surge in votes for Labour but this was reported as being a disaster for the party.

Even supposing it's true this opinion poll is hailed as being a great result for some and a disaster for others when actually all it shows all 3 main parties losing 1% of the vote.

Re: Eugene @ 11:52

1. The war protest is old hat.

The issue of Iraq has gone beyond the particular and has now assumed a totemic significance. It stands for the public’s distrust of the Labour government. To the extent that the Liberal Democrats are remembered as being in opposition to all that, it will still yield some electoral benefits, but not as much as in 2005.

2. They have no policies (except be pro Euro and Europe) - never have had.

This statement is pure ignorance. If anything, the Lib Dems suffer from a surfeit of policies. In the last month, for example, Lib Dems have proposed cutting the basic rate of income tax by 2p. Whatever Conservatives may think of the credibility of this, it will be an easy policy for the Lib Dems to sell.

3. They have no leader in any real sense.

They have a leader in the only sense that matters: he speaks for the party and has the party’s backing. If he survives the 50p debate, and I anticipate that he will, his position will be completely secure.

4. They have been dishonest with the electorate (Kennedy, Hughes, Oaten).

I suspect that most people have already forgotten what the Hughes thing was about. Oaten they’ll remember for being ridiculous rather than dishonest. Kennedy is more problematic for the Lib Dems, I’ll concede, because the manner of his departure left a bitter taste. But that too will fade in time.

5. They are associated in people's minds to be aligned to Labour - who are a mere 5 points above the WORST showing John Major ever got.

I suspect that this is mostly wishful thinking.

Re: Yet Another Anon @ 12:14

Surely UKIP will only be around in 100 years if the EU is too, and isn’t it UKIP orthodoxy that the EU will inevitably disintegrate in bloody warfare before then?

We do have a major problem in that New Labour under Brown, Blair or whoever and the Tories under Cameron are increasingly regarded as the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of UK politics.

That's why we need distinctive Conservative politics. Christina is right. If Davis had won the leadership we would be 20 points ahead in this period of disaster for Labour.

I don't see Labour's woes continuing indefinitely. Once they get their act together they are a formidable force to be reckoned with.

From an organisation point of view the Conservative Party is in the same mess it was in before Cameron arrived on the scene. IMHO the whole party apparatus needs to be totally overhauled before we have a chance of victory.

Surely UKIP will only be around in 100 years if the EU is too
Not neccessarily, parties find other issues, UKIP so far has struggled to establish themselves as being seen as more than merely a withdraw from Europe party, they have a range of policies and their recent leadership battle is focused on how to broaden their appeal - the earliest stages of Labour back at the end of 19th\turn of the 20th century were as a group of Independents representing local miners in parliament and there was no idea really of Labour actually being a party that could form a government until later, most people in 1906 would have said that a Labour government would never happen.

UKIP could succeed in changing the opinion of people in Britain towards seeing them as a more broadly Nationalist and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom, they already have links with the Northern Ireland Unionist Party and who knows the possibility of the Ulster Unionists and Democratic Unionists united with them could give them a regional base and MP's as a party that believed in de-regulated labour markets, had pride in British institutions, in strong defence, restoration of Capital Punishment and strong policing, encouraging patriotic feeling - holding down public spending while at the same time having a strong concern for public infrastructure; it also depends on what the other parties positions are and what they do, and on the international situation - it might be some other body than the EU in 100 years that the UK is thinking of joining or perceived inadequacies in provision of defence, strong justice or social discipline. Even if the EU falls apart it wouldn't surprise me if there are attempts to revive it on the continent.

UKIP's success in the last Euro elections showed that it is saying the things that most Britons want to hear.

But we cannot predict the future. The Conservative Party is now much more Eurosceptic than I would once have dared to hope. After all, I can even remember when a "European" candidate beat a strong "anti" in the election for MC Chairman.

It's time for the Tories to go the extra mile and to call for the UK to leave the EU altogether. One of the Monday Clib's strongest current assets is its ultra-close relationship with the anti-EU DUP, and I forsee a time when the Conservative Party UKIP and the DUP will be able to work together on this and other issues.

Poor old Ming!
Well , surely after the gay fracas that was the last Lib Dem leadership contest they can't have another one too quickly? Probably have a job to find another group of candidates who look really boring ( all of them) but actually have wild personal lives ( everyone but Ming).

I am afraid that a country run by the nutters of the BNP, UKIP and the DUP would be a nightmare and would turn this country back to the dark ages.
As for a purge of Social Democrats. In democracies you don`t have purges I`m afraid you only have them in places like Iran and China. Would you really like to live in a country like them two.
As for the anti-EU nonsense. We are becoming electable again because the party have put together a sensible consensus on Europe.To propose pulling out would not only split the party it would bury it chances of returning to power for a generation.

Noone mentioned BNP Jack - please don't misrepresent peoples' views. And, everyone, let's please keep on subject...

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't BPIX regarded as the least reliable polling organisation? I'd be delighted 'though if this poll was accurate. The MORI suff doesn't make much sense to me.The public increasingly like our policies (even though we really don't have any) but at the same time are startuing to dislike DC. This most marked among women where in evry other poll I've seen DC was the reason more women were supporting the party. I just don't get it!

Malcolm - Two duff polls from two duff pollsters, I expect.

Yet another Anon - "people saying they are going to vote always seems to be higher than those who actually end up voting" Well I repeat - 49% only (lowest ever) say they are definitely going to vote!!!


Jack Stone - "the party have [sic] put together a sensible consensus on Europe". The party has done no such thing. The most recent poll put 65% [64%] of Tory voters wanting us to leave the EU. The party is now run by europhiles (Maude, Hurd, Taylor. Letwin etc) and has just decided to ignore the members'views - SOME CONSENSUS. That. Mr Stone, is spinning, almost in the class of NewLabour.

A suggestion - Women may well have liked what they saw in Cameron initially but on closer inspection have found him a fraudulent sham ???

ICM give others 8%, Christina. BPIX give others 16%. There is a huge difference.

You win elections not just by attracting voters from your core supporters but also from the centre. Cameron is doing that. I am sure that if there was a referendum tommorrow of "all" voters about if we were to pull out of the EU or not the country would as it did before vote to stay n.
The leadership may not be in tune with ts right-wing supporters but there`s little doubt it is in tune with the country.

Jack Stone - you really are stupid. How on earth do get elected when you repudiate the wishes of 2/3rds of those who voted for you last time (When, let me remind you, we got more votes in England than Labour) And YOU asserted that the party had reached a "sensible consensus" Rubbish! The whole subject has been taboo and airbrushed out of sight so that the europhiles who run the party have got it their way.

Consensus - Bah!
Tapestry - "ICM give others 8%. BPIX give others 16%."

I only (mis)quoted the figures from memory in ICM to put some of the wilder surmisings in perspective. I've looked them up and they are SNP 2%, Plaid Cymru 1%, Green 2%, UKUP 0.5%, Other others(!!) 2% Nobody is suggesting that the 2 nationalist parties and Ulster put together will be less than about 8% discounting the Greens, UKIP and sundry others . So ICM is clearly a bit short on commonsense.

BPIX are a load of tosh . They are not members of the BPC , do not publish their methodology and their website still says under construction as it has done for the last 18 months . For all we know they could be a Mail journalist plucking figures by consulting the entrails of a chicken .

"The leadership may not be in tune with ts right-wing supporters but there`s little doubt it is in tune with the country."

I suppose you mean that they are aping New Labour ideas which, it must be admitted, have been popular with a section of the public for some years?

The danger is that when the chips are down these people may decide to plump for the real thing rather than the fake.

If the polls are to be believed Cameron's personal credibility is already wearing thin.

Christina - can you please stop shouting and calling others stupid.

The Lib Dems' national polling figures are of no importance whatsoever.

Overwhelmingly, the Lib Dems are a local party, made up of local people involved in local campaigns and groups.

In the middle of the leadership crisis and permanent disaster headlines for the Lib Dems, they performed one of the most outstanding by-election victories of recent years in Dunfermline. A huge boost in Moray a couple of months later, and then the infamous Bromley & Chislehurst result followed.

When Lib Dem voters go to the polls they are not influenced by the national, central party, but the local party individuals. If we are to win back those 'Tory' Lib Dem seats our candidates desperately need to become just as local and involved in their communities.

Overwhelmingly, the Lib Dems are a local party, made up of local people involved in local campaigns and groups

Agreed, Oliver, and those of us heavily involved in the Party on the ground need to learn from this.

Conservatives deliver, but frequently in the past Lib Dems have been the ones who have communicated and campaigned more effectively. Guess who wins elections? - the Party organisations on a very local level have to do some hard thinking about that.

I agree wholeheartedly with Oliver's last point. In Lib Dem seats in Scotland, we can see that at both Holyrood and European elections, when using the list system to vote for a party, people vote Tory, but when they go to choose their specific representative, they vote for their local Lib Dem candidates. It is not the Westminster party these voters look to.

Some good points about local campaigning. I do believe that the way we approach candidate selection is the wrong way round. We seem to be obsessed with complicated and lengthy artificial tests to find the ultimate applicants. It would be better to have some half reasonable people BUT in place very early and immersed in the local community. This would bring many more seats in to our fold and not just "target" seats.


Ah Christina ranting again I see!

Mark Senior (Lib Dem activist) - BPIX are two respected academics (Paul Whiteley and David Sanders) as Anthony Wells has pointed out to you on his site. Your denigration of them does not make them any less worthwhile.

Just looking at Electoral Calculus.

I notice even on such a large Tory lead (and a predicted tory majority of 80 or so)my seat (Derby north) doesn't change hands. This despite the fact it was held by the Tories until 97. Odd.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker