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That Cameron's support should have fallen in the North surprises me not.

Talk about spin. Brown is only down one point (which actually means nothing at all) but of course the 'sure footed response to...' blah! blah! blah!

It's so typical of people who are deeply embroiled in politics to assume that the Great British Pubic avidly follow such matters. In fact vast numbers of them never read a newspaper or watch the TV news.

While it is possible that a majority may know that an 11 year old was shot in Liverpool, very few will be aware that the Conservatives have said anything at all.

However, those who actually do take an interest in such matters are intelligent enough to know that Brown is no more responsible for the death of Rhys Jones than Major was responsible for the murder of Jamie Bulger in 1993.

Society has changed very much for the worst and politicians of all parties are responsible to the extent that they have either encouraged or failed to oppose these trends. In some cases they hve been motivated by the omnipresent social Marxism of our age. In most cases the cause has been sheer cowardice.

Cameron and his modernisers are no exceptions. In desperation they have recently - and hypocritically - jumped onto the 'Broken Society' bandwagon, but that was not their original line. Remember how we had to let sunshine into our lives and celebrate Modern (ie Blair's) Britain?

Some may already have forgotten that BS. I will never forget, and never forgive.

Gun crime is the Tories big hope, if this does not damage Brown, what will? The rise in Labour support in London, is this because Londoners feel insulted by the fact the Tories can't produce a single decent candidate for London Mayor? Doesn't say much for Boris and co. does it!

The slight increase in Tory support isnt a thing to be too excited about. The support came from dont knows. Given Camerons past comments and how much the hug a hoodie line has stuck Im not entirely sure that the recent crime problems will have helped us.

Still disappointing but I agree with the Editors premise that the last few days has seen a revival in positive media coverage for the Conservative party.The Sunday Times leaders yesterday were excellent.Let's hope that this will be reflected in the forthcoming raft of polls.

I strongly believe that the gun crisis will have damaged Brown. This poll because it was taken before the last few days doesn't tell us much. The lack of progress in the north is disturbing though.

First off – Mark you’ve clearly not actually read the poll (I made a point of picking up the Guardian this morning so I could actually see the details of the poll), Labour has risen in London at the expense of the LibDems (+7 IIRC), however the Conservatives have also risen (+2 IIRC) – what the implications of this would be in a general election is less clear, but the primary inference seems to be the disillusioned Labour voters who switched to the LibDems have returned to Labour with Blair gone – hardly surprising. And the poll was conducted before DC’s “Anarchy in the UK” speech and before the murder in Liverpool… so gun crime is unlikely have had as big an impact as it could do.

More generally, the poll is “ok”… the voting intention figures while uninspiring suggest the “rot” has been stopped and (together with the way the poll has been covered) that the Brown “honeymoon” is being stemmed somewhat, although it’s worth remembering that we’re still firmly in (going by historical precedents) “honeymoon” territory.

The most encouraging thing in this poll are the issue by issue ratings… to be leading on crime (pre-Thursday) and Health while close behind Labour on the economy is all very encouraging IMHO, especially when you consider that in the immediate aftermath of the Brown coronation Labour ratcheted up big leads on all these issues.

Again, we’re still deep in “honeymoon” territory… so to see are recovery in how we are rated on key issues is good and at this stage perhaps more instructive than the overall voting intention figures (those figures still be distorted – to a certain extent – by the “honeymoon” period Brown’s enjoying still).

Tim, Cameron and the Tories have become zombie like - feeding on the dead bodies of the victims of gun crime in order to boost their electoral chances. "Social Breakdown Crisis" - God help us.

By the way - The Guardian figures show Labour on +1.

What will be interesting is how the Lib Dems intend to react to all this. At the moment they have no identity so do they go more to the left to win back the London voters going to Labour or more to the right to get the voters going our way in the South West.

The figures in the North are disappoinitng. Maybe the emphasis on crime might help with that. Does anyone know how we polled in the North (and what people are classing at the North), in the days when we used to win elections?

Sean of the Living: "By the way - The Guardian figures show Labour on +1."

The Guardian compares its poll with the last ICM poll for itself (a month ago). I compare this ICM poll with the most recent ICM survey for any newspaper (which was for The Sunday Mirror two weeks ago). I hope that clarifies things.

Sean of the Living - rubbish. Since Cameron became leader he has been talking, speechifying about the Broken Society. IDS's report, the so called Hug a Hoodie speech all addressed the destruction of communities in our urban centres.
It's Labour that has played crime as an electoral game - useless initiatives, pretend "We're Hard We Are" laws that are not used, don't achieve anything, complacent.

raditional tory are you a BNP suporter?

While it is possible that a majority may know that an 11 year old was shot in Liverpool, very few will be aware that the Conservatives have said anything at all.
People who think that crime problems are social in nature will probably go on thinking that, and those who feel it is liberal policies by both main parties over decades will go on thinking that and people in twee little villages somewhere where there are few problems will go on believing it is all media hype and most of these people from all different mindsets will expect little but rhetoric on it from the main political parties because that mostly is what there has been over the decades.

The first thing is the cry that something must be done and that it must never happen again, then various MPs announce that it is one thing or another that should be done, then the opposition (whoever that is) say it is all the fault of the party opposite and that they would do things all differently, then the government announce some changes sometimes in agreement with the main opposition parties, then it turns out to be far less than expected and then it happens all over again and whoever is then the government does the same as before.

And the truth is that there is political inertia on matters of Crime & Punishment, but that to say that such things must never happen again is unrealistic because however strict rules are and however diiligent the implementation, on most things it will always happen again at some point in the future because human beings are not infallible - infallibility is the prerogative of God alone.

Ted, two things get on my nerves here:

1) The Tories started the destruction of these communities in the 1980s.
2) Society is not in crisis - some areas have problems.

No, James. Traditional Tory has said on a number of occasions that he is not and I don't think there is evidence for believing he is. Back to the thread please.

The Tories started the destruction of these communities in the 1980s
The recent shooting highlighted in the press actually occurred in a prosperous part of Liverpool, shootings and knifings are more common that they used to be, but contrary to press reports they didn't start in the last few years - gun crime including in this country is as old as the gun and knife crime is as old as the knife.

Increased societal problems with violence are down to a combination of liberal social policies, life is more complicated and disorientating with people expected to be constantly in communication - most manufacturing and labouring jobs have gone and people are expected to adapt to a Politically Correct culture - men are made to feel guilty for wanting to be self reliant and told that they should have a feminine side and this undermines their own sense of who they are and what their purpose is in life.


I bet the killer came from the sink estate next door.

The differences in the ICM poll figures are not significant and can be attributed to sampling error.

These figures are consistent with recent polls and are dreadful news for CCHQ. The regional differences will be celebrated in Downing Street.

The increase in support in the South East will deliver only a handful of marginal seats in Kent and Essex.

Labour hold on to several marginals and gain a couple of seats in the Bristol and Somerset areas. Labour could regain Selby & Ainstey (a Tory seat after boundary changes) and Scarborough & Whitby.

The six point drop in London could cost us Ilford North, Wimbledon, Putney and Finchley. If this is "Boris" effect, I don't want it.

The only positive news is that Tory losses to Labour will be balanced by gains from the Lib Dems (who would also lose many seats to Labour).

Overall, Brown would increase his majority, even with losses to the SNP. Prepare for an October election.

Its still too early to draw conclusions from this. Next month will be more interesting I think.

the point is that trad's criticisms our unhelpful so why is he reading a suposed 'liberal' site, onother point i do agree that the goverments gun policy is based soley on a 'Social aproach to crime , this is outyrages DC has takea great step aaaaani do agree withy D'ancona in yesterdays Telegraph, but i think we should concetrate on a to0ugherstan on L & O anot just blame it on socity

Pollster - based on this poll (and you should take the regional break downs with a huge fist full of salt), Brown could increase his majoirty (just) through gains at our expense in the North, however Labour would lose seats to us in the South and East, while the LibDems would lose a swath of seats to us in the south east and south west... the increase in Labour's share of the vote in London is all at the LibDem's expense while the Conservative share is up slightly (suggesting Labour's strangle-hold on seats like Islington, Brent etc... will be reaserted, but will have less of an impact in the Labour/Tory marginals)... overall its an uninspring poll, but your reading of it is misjudged IMHO.

Much as I find the debate entertaining I do think it is rather spurious because the Guardian has ignored what is probably the key battleground.

It does not even mention the Midlands and in the previous ICM poll for the Sunday Mirror the figures were finely balanced at

Lab 42%
Con 40%

The Libdems strangely, considering the other figures, were down at 11%.

The figures for the North and South back up the Guardians assessment.

Now I can only wonder why the Guardian decided to ignore the Midlands (although the word spin comes to mind) but either way I will not make any judgements on this poll until I see the detail.

Does anyone know how we polled in the North (and what people are classing at the North), in the days when we used to win elections?

Classing ?

Is that Newspeak ?

I only hope that at long last, all the front bench and every Conservative in the parliamentary party will now come out fighting to support DC and show that they want to win.
It has been shameful that we have seen so little Conservative reaction to what have been so many open goals in recent weeks-it does seem that many of them prefer board room fees to a government salary. This is really a terrible betrayal of supporters, members and the country who deserve far better than the lot we have now

The party in the country do not particularly like Kenneth Clarke, but the country does- yet nothing whatsover has been heard from him for weeks.

The news that Lord A has taken charge is very welcome- at least he wants to win and is determined to achieve it.

Once Gordon Browns bounce melts away he will never get it back again. The non-political public were glad to see the back of Blair and that translated into transient support for Brown, however now its becoming obvious, even to those who don't follow politics, that the more things change the more they stay the same. Gordon Brown is afraid of public reaction to consequences of social breakdown, thats why he gave a TV news statement in his office after the shooting of the 11 year old boy in Liverpool.

Ben Surtees, you seem to agree with most of my comments except in London.

There are only a few Labour seats in the South East now - mainly in Kent and Essex. The Labour vote in Kent is very loyal. We failed to win several marginals with small Labour majorities in 2005. Boundary changes will help but winning them back not be easy as the Labour MPs have substantial personal votes.

The Lib Dem vote is holding up well (better than national pools) in South and West London, i.e. where there are Lib Dem MPs and councils. We can win Sutton & Cheam, Carshalton and Richmond Park but you can forget the others.

Stephen Hammond's seat in Wimbledon is now seriously at risk. The Lib Dem vote increased by 5%, at Labour's expense, in 2005 and got him in. There was a similar but smaller effect in Putney. Both seats are highly vulnerable to a significant Lib Dem to Labour swing.

Overall, on these figures, I would anticipate a Labour majority of between 80 and 120. If pressed, I would tend to favour a higher figure because we have so many inexperienced A listers fighting target seats.

Before everyone gets too excited by the Guardian report I suggest they look at the analysis here:

UK Polling Report Analysis of The Guardian Poll

It suggests that even in this circumstance the Conservatives could have a net gain in seats at the next GE based on the regional figures.

Of course the analysis points out many caveats to the accuracy of the Guardian piece.

Pollster, there are many more Labour held marginals in the South than there are Conservative held marginals in the North. Hence, if the Conservatives do better than average in the South, and worse than average in the South, then they will pick up more seats than under UNS.

Anthony Wells gives Labour 368 seats to 210 Conservatives on a 5% lead, with uniform national swing. But, if the regional swings shown by the Guardian were to be replicated, the figures would be more like 356 to 222.

"Worse than average in the North", I should have said

Well, so much for the Brown Bounce ... let's see it slipping further in the next few polls.

The north is a tricky one; I've lived there and I've campaigned there so I know that it's not easy ground. I initially disagreed with my namesake Jonathan Scott (Conservative Vision)’s excellent article on the North, but re-reading it today I think he is broadly correct in what he says. Can I suggest you ask him to follow up this article with another, as some progress - e.g. the Northern Board - has been made since then?

Sean, how do you explain the poor Conservative performance in the South at the last election. We failed to win key marginals from Labour and the Lib Dems in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset. It suggests that there were/are major problems with the party's campaigning expertise or candidates in those areas.

As someone who lives in an uber safe Conservative seat, all I see around me are disillusioned Conservatives. I have never liked Dave, but the depth of disillusionment is stunning. Frankly, if there is not a majority Labour government (which I don't want at all), I'll be stunned.

"Cameron's weakness is in the north, where "Conservative support actually appears to have fallen, from 28% to 26%. "

North of where ?

This phrase is a large part of the key to the problem . The sooner the Conservatives start to adress the reality of the modern British state , the sooner we will gain traction .

Stop talking about Britain . The use of the word is a cop out from reality . Great Britain has largely disintegrated into its component nations . Talk about England and in this case the North of England .

Make it clear that the Conservatives are the champions of England in what remains of the British state .
The North of England is very much aware of being part of England and also very much aware that , at present ,there is no political party which specifically represents them .

Try connecting on this basis - you might be pleasently surprised at the results .

Pollster -

If this poll were born out nationally I'd probably agree that we'd see a large Labour majority (IMHO in the 65-95 range), but our machine in the target seats is better than i think you believe although i think there could be big variations between these seats based on how effective A-listers turnout to be (though the fact remains that the majority of "A listers" are on the list in the first place at least partly coz they are, or would be expected to be, effective campaigners).

Also agree that even with a massive swing against the LibDems across the South they'll still defy the national trend in seats where their MPs are well entrenched... however i wouldn't expect that to spare them the loss of seats like Chippenham, Romsey etc...

Either way, i think we probably agree about what the ramifications of these kind of vote shares would be more than my first reply suggested... either way beyond the headlines figures I'm fairly content with the poll considering when it was conducted (leads on health, crime, a narrowing of the gap on the economy and squeezing he LibDems in the South are some positives to mix with the less exciting elements of the poll IMHO).

I spoke to a group of well-off City lawyers yesterday, they all said they were voting for Boris for mayor - Just for the laugh! Voting is becoming a joke. Maybe this is the way western Democracy will mature. It is after all less than 100 years old in this country.

"Sean, how do you explain the poor Conservative performance in the South at the last election."

What poor performance? We made most of our gains in the South, and cut Labour and Lib Dem majorities sharply in many Southern marginals.

William Hague MP has to many jobs to campaign for the Tories "in the north". Your only MP in West Yorkshire should be made head of the nothern board. I think his name is Phillip Davies MP. He may have only been elected recently but he speaks so much sense.

Also does having a shadow minister for cities actually help. I can't see it does, especially since the shadow minister for Liverpool is a Surrey MP! One of the wealthist area of Britain.

Talking of missed South-East marginals, the Tories missed an open goal here last election. Virtually everyone here was/is sick of Bob Marshall-Andrews and his big mouth, and it's only because Mark Reckless is considered to be even more of a prat (as if that's even possible!) that we lost.

Did I mention that I never got a single canvasser to knock on our door that election? I live in a safe Tory ward, but even so, if they can't be bothered to come round and listen to my views, I can't be bothered to walk down the polling station to put my 'X' in the box.

I think his name is Phillip Davies MP. He may have only been elected recently but he speaks so much sense.

That is very true. He is an excellent MP - really superb, but he is a David Davis man and I doubt Cameron will let the point Davis made during the leadership election about rebuilding the North be made so evident to the party 20 months later

We must also remember that the 'North' is a very unclear description. For example, rural northern areas do not mirror urban northern areas. I su