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So there are Lib Dem voters out there quite happy to vote Lib Dem to keep Blair in, but are so repelled by Brown that they switch to us. I've never met one of these people but according to this, there must be hundreds of thousands of them out there. Strange.

"With Brown in charge Labour's support drops to 33%"

Actually goes up to 33% (it's 32% in main figures)

"So there are Lib Dem voters out there quite happy to vote Lib Dem to keep Blair in, but are so repelled by Brown that they switch to us. I've never met one of these people but according to this, there must be hundreds of thousands of them out there. Strange"

Reid seems to have almost the same effects on them!

Reid will never get control, he is liked by people who are not members of the labour party. It like electing David Cameron to the leadership of the conservatives.

'he is liked by people who are not members of the labour party'

Who are these people then?

I'm confused (which isn't too difficult).

On the figures as reported, 88% of those questioned expressed a preference with Tony Blair leading the Labour Party. This rises to 91% with Brown in charge (i.e. there are, presumably, less 'don't knows'). Labour's support under a Brown leadership actually INCREASES by 1% (pace the editorial comment), but support for the Lib Dems mysteriously falls by 4%.

On the face of it, this seems to suggest that around a fifth of those who support the Lib Dems whilst Blair is in charge become 'don't knows' or switch to the Tories once Brown takes over.

I suspect there might be more complex factors at work, with some Lib Dems becoming potential Labour 'don't knows' (perhaps because Brown is less obviously in favour of the Iraq war), but a greater number of existing 'don't knows' switching to the Tories (perhaps because Brown is perceived as more left-wing than Blair).

Is Murdoch straying from his previous loyalty to Gordon Brown? This 'poll' is signalling that Murdoch is moving his loyalty to Reid, Blair's chosen successor.

Blair has it seems, given up on Europe.

Brown could be secretly offering the Euro hoping to use EU power to secure the throne. Prescott owes his position entirely to the EU as he brings in the regions, and emasculates the Counties.

But is Murdoch at last calling a new era for Britain - outside the EU, allied with the USA and the anglosphere - where Brown and Prescott are thrown to the lions? If he was batting for Brown, such a poll as this would not see the light of day.

One explanation for why there seems to be a shift from Lib Dem to Tory with Brown in charge could be that this is an indirect effect: in other words, with Brown in charge, a lot of Lib Dems switch back to Labour, but roughly the same number of Labour supporters switch to being Tory supporters at the same time.

"Tapestry" your postings get ever more deluded!

How can a poll from a polling organisation with a reputation to uphold suggest any such thing just because it is published in a Murdoch paper?

Your implication is that the newspaper owner, the editor and an independent pollster are all colluding to undermine Brown in favour of Reid. This is fantasy stuff!

Don't worry Richard,Henry (tapestry) sometimes makes insightful posts but once the subject of the EU or EPP gets mentioned he goes nuts (I say that as a Eurosceptic and supporter of Helmer).According to Henry ,Rupert Murdoch is a secret Eurofanatic who is part of a plot to persuade us to go into the Euro etc!I kid you not.

Well I for one am impressed that no-one has yet noticed on this site that when the question as to voting intention is linked to party leaders names, i.e. Cameron's Conservatives, we do better. For all the rubbish available to read about how a small click of highly aggressive posters dislike DC, he certainly seems to be doing the business, and the party is still more popular when the voters are reminded he is leading it.

I would further agree with a hypothesis I have read elsewhere (thanks Mike Smithson) that our vote will be even more mobilised in a General Election campaign because David Cameron would be on TV every night! The more the public see of the leader, the more they want to vote for the party. Great stuff!

tapestry I don't understand how this poll is bad for Brown and good for Reid. It shows Labour support even worse under Reid than under Brown.

I think Brown is a much more polarising figure than Blair. Blair allows people who really ought to be Tory (and I don't mean that in an arrogant, condescending sense, but in the sense that they used to vote for us, but now don't for various reasons) but are unhappy with them, to go off and vote for the Lib Dems or New Labour without much fear of the country changing too much. Blair has also irritated enough core Labour voters so that they'll happily vote LD/Respect/Socialist, hence why the Lib Dems have done so well in the cities recently, although with only relatively modest gains to show for it because Labour majorities in big city constituencies are absolutely huge. I think if Brown comes in we're gonna see a lot of people motivated to stop Brown and go back to the Tory fold, and a lot of the core Labour vote go back to their usual homes. However, seen as the core Labour vote is increasingly concentrated in the big cities where they have massive majorities anyway, there's not much scope for improvement for them in total number of seats. However, there are swathes of seats, especially in the South West, where the Tories have the potential to make big gains, particularly at the expense of the LDs. The South West should be a Tory heartland, but the LibDems have done outstandingly well there. If you actually look at where the bulk of their seats are, they are in traditional Tory areas, which is staggering to me considering that they are even more left-wing than New Labour. But there we are.

A Brown victory leads me to think a number of things will happen. Labour support may go up, but it may not translate into big seat gains or even holds because it'll just return their support that they lost in traditional Labour areas, which were already Labour seats anyway. Essentially, 10 million Labour votes under Blair would give them more seats than would 10 million Labour votes under Brown. Tory support may become more evenly distributed across the country and give them a better chance of picking up key target seats, especially in the South-West and the Midlands where they are not doing nearly as well as they should be. And the LibDems could be the big losers as voters in their strongholds (with the exception of the universities) decide that they really don't want Brown, so they'll switch to Cameron in order to keep him out. Remember that before Blair, it was the Tories who won a disproportionate number of seats given their popular vote, and Labour who got hosed by FPTP. Since 1997 thats switched with Blair's arrival, of course leading to the scenario where the Tories won more votes in England, but fewer seats (I think, but I don't know exact numbers).

This is based, of course, on the assumption that Brown will be as unpopular with the swathes of voters who switched to Labour in 1997 as I think he will be. I just can't see Middle England warming to him as they warmed to Blair, especially with a vaguely credible alternative now on offer. And it's going to be Middle England that decides the next election.

If the above figures are true, the Liberal Democrats should start praying that John Reid beats Gordon Brown to the Labour leadership.

Just for your information Kristian Shanks, Michael Howard won about 100,000 more votes in England than Tony Bliar in the '05 election.

Richard Willis has a touching belief in the honesty of the media and its use of polls, which I obviously do not share.

Malcolm, it is not me that indicated that Murdoch controls Labour's EU policies, but Lance Price, who worked with Alastair Campbell in Number 10. Murdoch fears the EU Competiton Commissioner like no other, as he wishes to maintain his privileged position in dominance of British media.

I'm flattered by your faint praise BTW. I never thought I'd get a compliment from you! You're not going soft are you?

Murdoch tried to go Tory at the last GE but realised that the Postal Voting fraud was far too big for us to stand a chance, and swung back behind Labour in the last 2 weeks before the poll.

Now he's sending signals to Labour MP's and others that he would be prepared to back Reid if theuy want to switch away from Gordon Brown, hedging his bets. It's all happening as the dogs are closing in on the Blair regime. Of course, silly me, this is all complete coincidence. La la la la...

If Murdoch decides to stick with Labour we're stuffed. He only backs winners.

What David needs to do is to approach Murdoch and check out his "shopping list"

Seems we're going to have to bring our future policies more in line with the expectations of the Sun.

That's likely to mean rather more EU-bashing and rather less bunny-hugging.

"With Brown in charge Labour's support drops to 33%"

Actually goes up to 33% (it's 32% in main figures)
Yes, looks like a bit of numeracy practice wouldn't go amiss, you also could have pointed that actually what it shows is under John Reid Labour support would be no higher but that it would actually be stronger under Gordon Brown than under either, John Reid would not boost the Conservatives as much as Gordon Brown but not much less and the Liberal Democrats would have the most difficulty if Gordon Brown was in charge - of course it's a poll a third of the way into a parliament - if true the party who would have most to worry about is the Liberal Democrats, 2 party politics could well be what Gordon Brown needs to hold or even increase Labour's majority - it would mean more Conservative MP's but probably also probably quite a drop in the number of Liberal Democrat MP's.

Probably it is a perception that somehow Gordon Brown will be more like Labour leaders of the past than Tony Blair was and this is perhaps attracting Labour voters who either switched to the Liberal Democrats or weren't turning out, on the other hand it is perhaps also encouraging Conservatives to be more prepared to turnout, less so for John Reid and Tony Blair perhaps is less of a contrast with David Cameron.

perhaps because Brown is less obviously in favour of the Iraq war
he is perceived as being so and this suits Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's prospects - Tony Blair is taking the responsibility for Iraq, this doesn't neccessarily mean that Gordon Brown's views were any different, but if the war remains more unpopular than not then Tony Blair sitting outside parliament being blamed for it will be able to satisfy himself with the thought that he carried it through and minimised any long term consequences for the government while getting rid of an evil disruptive influence (The Iraqi Ba'athists and Saddam Hussein) who were having a disruptive effect on the environment and people of the wider region and more especially of Iraq itself.

Actually the difference between Brown and Reid is that under Reid the "Other parties" figure goes from 9% to 13%.

At any rate, it proves that the Cameron/Maude strategy is working very nicely and we are on the way to winning the next general election.

We will be in the 40s for voting intenetion next year when the policy reviews announce their recommendations.

2009 will be the end of 12 bleak years of Labour rule. All this leafletting, canvassing, fundraising, etc will have been well worth it!

Both Reid & Brown are too much yesterdays men. If Johnson stands (as he's beginning to indicate he might) then we will have a battle as he is an attractive figure, postie who worked his way up etc. DC would find it hard against Johnson (then David Davis would I think have matched up better).

Johnson might though if he won beLabour's John Major (similar antecedents) as the Brownites will be the equivalent of the true Thatcherites and Gordon would be the glowering figure just behind the front bench (Ted Heath times two).

This poll is very good for our Party and after only 8-9 months of a new leader.

We are now in a position to gain a swathe of London parliamentary seats at the next General Election. This is in London which in 1997 which was very anti Conservative Party. Yes, it is true that we have the organisation in these seats to 'GET OUT THE VOTE' (GOTV).

We will have new policy announcements next year and should be even further ahead in the polls then.

We also need to ensure that we sort out the organisation in key marginal seats, particularly in parts of the Midlands, the north and Scotland & Wales, by recruiting new members and re-energising our delivery networks and teams of activists. Rising in the polls, and looking as if we will win, should gain us members in these seats and all we will need to do is ask for their help. We need to rebuild in these seats so we can GOTV there too.

We will battle against an 'old guard' who really can't be a***d to get out and knock up on election day etc.

I was in a committee room entering telling results into a computer in a key ward in Wolverhampton S.W. on General Election day 2005, with a group of councillors and ward "activists" (zero active frankly) who really could not be bothered doing anything and were more interested in having Fish & Chips than knocking up. If 'members' can't be bothered going out to knock up, voters are hardly going to be bothered ... voting.

If we can revitalise our constituency associations in these seats and recruit more deliverers etc, we will ensure that being ahead in the polls really does translate into gains particularly where we need them.

So after all the fuss and bother, after all the Green policies, after all the "commitment to increase public expenditure" - a 4% lead in the polls. Cameron is a walking - or should I say bicycling - disaster. He's losing his core support and getting a very skittish "middle ground" to be mildly supportive in an opinion poll. And this is against a governing party in a civil war. It's not pathetic - it's tragic.

I was a really big supporter of Cameron. Persuaded my wife and at least three other people to vote for him.

But that EPP business shattered me. Quite frankly I don't know what to think at the moment.

To be honest, I feel betrayed. I'm not sure whether to carry on supporting.

"I was in a committee room entering telling results into a computer in a key ward in Wolverhampton S.W. on General Election day 2005, with a group of councillors and ward "activists" (zero active frankly) who really could not be bothered doing anything and were more interested in having Fish & Chips than knocking up."

And it seems they speak very highly of you, too, Jonathan.


A little spot of local difficulty?

Wolverhampton 'Truth' - to quote from the article you refer to (12 Oct 05):

"Wolverhampton South West Conservatives in even more turmoil

"The Express and Star newspaper is reporting that the Wolverhampton South West Conservatives are in even more turmoil ... shortly after the Chair resigned and now, according to the Express and Star, two of the most senior Conservatives face a controversial sacking and the shop to will be closed.

"Last night's Express and Star's front page claims Dr Jonathan Scott and Councillor Jonathan Yardley are both facing the axe from their positions as chairman and deputy chairman of the Wolverhampton South West Conservative Association. And group leader Councillor Paddy Bradley is set to close the association's Compton Road headquarters in a move that has some members privately fuming.

"The paper goes on to suggest the party is wracked by a split between an old guard of experienced councillors and a new breed of younger members who are keen to see it take steps forward. They cite as evidence of the need for new blood the fact the Conservatives lost eight seats to Labour at the last local elections."

Yes, it was a spot of local difficulty. I did actually stay on as chairman until February this year, although they did close the office and sack our excellent Agent.

I would like to make it clear that I am a member of the 'new breed' that was battling with the 'old guard' I referred to in my previous post.

So who won?

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