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"Brown has an 69% to 10% advantage over Brown".

Labour's lead is coming down - more hits like last weekend's pensions statistics will bring it down further.

While foot and mouth seems to have squeezed out flooding, we still need answers on both.

"Labour's lead is coming down - more hits like last weekend's pensions statistics will bring it down further."

Not sufficient just for Labour's lead to go down, Tory support has to rise and DC has to salvage his personal ratings. All of this is totally achievable.

And to be honest Brown's current lead on some of the personal attribute questions seems to be a product of his own comparative novelty to most voters.

The polls will only look better if the Tory Party showsa bit of unity and therefore looks electable.

The next story after this on the home page is an article by Simon Heffer....

Joined-up thinking!

"Brown has an 69% to 10% advantage over Brown".

Should that not read "Brown has an 69% to 10% advantage over Cameron"?

I maintain my view that Brown won't go to the polls in the autumn. He is still quite worried about losing - and he hasn't waited ten years to be Prime Minister to lose the job within a matter of months!

When searching for this Poll last night, I found the wrong one by accident. This one is just weeks before the 2001 election.

Please read it- it is a Sun Poll by Mori (like the latest one).

It shows the landscape has changed fundamentally in Britain. One Party has lost its way, seen a massive evaporation of floating voters and lost the trust of the British people.

It is not the Conservative Party.

All to play for.

Let us get out there and win.


Q2 If the election were held this Thursday, how likely would you have been to vote in the General Election?
Certain to vote 55%
Very likely to vote 16%
Quite likely to vote 10%
Not very likely to vote 7%
Certain not to vote 10%
Don't know 2%
QV3 And how would you vote if there were a General Election on Thursday?
(If undecided or refused at QV3)
QV4 Which party would you be most inclined to support?
Conservative 32%
Labour 50%
Liberal Democrats 13%
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 2%
Green Party 2%
Democratic/UKIP/Referendum Party *%
Other 1%

Would not vote 7%
Undecided 6%
Refused 5%
Q6 If the General Election was held this Thursday, what, if any, issues would be very important to you in helping you decide which party to vote for?
Animal welfare 2%
Defence 1%
Education 29%
Europe 5%
Foot and mouth disease 6%
Health care 33%
Housing 2%
Law and order 8%
Managing the economy 9%
Northern Ireland 0%
Pensions 10%
Protecting the natural environment 4%
Public transport 5%
Taxation 10%
Trade unions *%
Unemployment 3%
Other 17%
None 10%
Don't know/no answer 16%
Q8 I am going to read out a list of politicians. For each one you know, would you say they are a strength or a weakness to their party?
Strength Weakness Don't knowpolitician Don't know
% % % %
Tony Blair 66 24 3 7
David Blunkett 49 20 19 11
Gordon Brown 63 18 10 9
Robin Cook 25 52 12 12
John Prescott 36 44 10 10
Jack Straw 44 29 13 14
Ken Clarke 39 26 20 15
David Davis 6 9 77 8
William Hague 23 64 5 8
Michael Portillo 35 45 11 9
Ann Widdecombe 47 30 14 9
Charles Kennedy 39 19 28 14
Q9 Thinking about Tony Blair, please tell me which one of each of these pairs of descriptions you feel fits him best?
Q10 Thinking about William Hague, please tell me which one of each of these pairs of descriptions you feel fits him best?
Tony Blair William Hague
% %
Honest 62 59
Dishonest 29 27
Don't know 9 14

Principled 65 58
Unprincipled 27 29
Don't know 8 13

Arrogant 44 47
Not arrogant 51 45
Don't know 5 8

In touch 51 31
Out of touch 44 59
Don't know 5 10

Would you care to offer an exegesis of the above impenetrable screed, Eugene?

Somebody's lost their way all right.

LOL! Sorry.

I think you might be saying it is difficult to read. If so, here is the link with nice graphics.

http://www.ipsos-mori.com/polls/2001/s010501.shtml

I find the poll very interesting. 50 % for Labour and so very high levels of trust. The trust has certainly evaporated and many who said they would vote in 2001 have gone to 'others' or will not vote. To cap it , in the actual election poll, a few weeks later, Labour managed nothing near 50 %.

If Brown brings announces that he's going to bring the troops back, and calls and election the spring, then he would regain a lot of the left-wing voters who deserted Labour under Blair.

What those figures of eugene's show is that back in 2001 Blair's and Labour's honeymoon was still going strong. Everything is a little more volatile now. It's up to us to take advantage of it.

We can all say that a 5% Labour lead and 33% Conservative vote share after 10 years of a Labour Government is good, but who are we really kidding? Before Brown, we were told he would be a disaster, that "events" would be his undoing, and that the "dour Scot" would never appeal to English voters. Wrong. Wrong. And, wrong again.

The devastating thing about the poll are the stats showing Brown miles ahead of Cameron on leadership and understanding the issues facing Britain. More people now even want to have a drink with Brown than Cam - perhaps because they want to talk about something other than the colour of our logo.

Where is the concerted Conservative summer offensive against this Government? Where are Osborne, Fox, the new supposed "talent"? Where is our attack on government economic policy with postal strikes, higher taxes, a crumbling stock market, higher interest rates???

What is our economic strategy? Do we have one?

Alistair Darling is just quietly getting on with preparing the next Budget, completely undisturbed by the "official opposition", it seems to me. Maybe he is quietly rattled that Labour is "only" 5% ahead, but somehow I doubt it!

If you guys really think this poll will have any impact on the planning taking place in the Labour Party on the timing, policies or strategy for the next election then once more we are kidding ourselves.

The lack of planning for Brown, the shallowness of the leadership, and the inability to mount a sustained attack on policy are truly worrying.

It seems to me the "Summer Offensive" on Gordon Brown has had some effect on the Bounce, however so has an endless stream of disgruntled Conservatives on David Cameron. I think it was a mistake to announce a summer offensive, First announcing it implies that it is temporary process whereas it should be a permanent fixture of an opposition party. People respect the opposition more when they hold the goverment to account for their actions, competence and honesty. This is the only way the narrative of "Brown the strong" and "Brown the great man in a crisis" will get challenged. Also when commentators say stop trying to associate Brown with the last 10 years, to me that seems ridiculous. Yes Brown needs to be judged by comparing what he says with what he does as Prime Minister but the comparison is even stronger if you can show he has form in terms of deceit as chancellor. As the man that was constantly spun as being in charge of the domestic policy you can point to any number of things and say he has to take a very high proportion of the blame for either causing or making things worse.
So if we are really to make inroads into Brown then it is essential that his narrative is refuted and our own is presented. If it can become accepted wisdom that Brown does stealth policies like he did stealth taxes then even if we present policies and he steals them past evidence can show that he has no intention of doing what he says.
I hope the Conservative party continues with the offensive I think it is half the battle in deflating the bounce and indeed therefore winning the election.

I don't understand what is going on in Scotland - surging suport for the SNP combined with collapsing support for dividing the Union. Isn't the end of the Union the primary SNP policy?

It seems like Sots want a more equal relationship with England, and feel that past humiliations need addressing, but they don't want to be split off and become a European region with the Euro - as is SNP policy.

SNP website laughably says that Scotland will be able to have its own representative at the UN - 'laughably' not because it is an unreasonable aspiration, but because the EU Constitution is all about replacing national representatives with an EU one.

Inside the EU, Scotland's voice would disappear amongst hundreds of EU regions. Scots independence would be further away than ever. What exactly do the Scots aspire to? Anyone know?

Why are the SNP doing well in Scotland? Quite clear- Alex Salmond; then Labour. Salmond is by far the most credible 'leader' for a Scottish Executive; it's the SNP that have had the image problem- that appears to have vanished now ( less of the Braveheart cranks, more of the 'sensible' politicians: excluding Bill Wilson and Sandra White). Labour in the Scottish Exec were mindnumbingly dull and just passed appalling legislation ( banning this, and banning that)- with help from the Libbies. McConnell, had no personality, and came across as desperate. His 'anti-English' stance during the World cup and other feckless statements did not help the Labour cause either. Scots are the best 'two fingered voters' in the country. They gave us it after the 1950's ( and ever since), and since Labour turned into the scottish version of the conservatives- they are suffering from that attitude now! Added to the fact that you can vote SNP without voting for independence. You can always stick two fingers up to that if a referendum took place. Btw- all the canvassing i did during a scottish Euro election years ago showed me that the EU is despised in Scotland too! So the EU issue is not important at all up here!

thank you simon. I get it now........... 2 fingers to England, 2 fingers to Brussels - but keep dabbling with both!!!

Given the importance of Scotland to Gordon Brown (it is his political powerbase in a way that it never was for Vanity Blair who studiously avoided going to Scotland if he could, leaving it to Gordon to ensure that the lobby-fodder from Scotland was well stocked), it would be wise to pay greater attention to the state of politics North of the border which will, I believe, play a significant part in GB's thinking on a GE date.

Assuming the Progressive Scottish Opinion poll to be trustworthy, I argue chez moi that this opens up a nightmare scenario for GB in which he will eventually bottle out of an autumn election because of the Scottish problem and if the SNP continues to flourish will also threaten a spring GE. In England since devolution we have rather neglected Scottish politics, partly because its public face (via BBC Parliament) is so squirmingly parish pump stuff. But this PM depends on Scotland and his Scottish chums and take those away and he begins to look weak. He cannot, in short, afford an election in which his powerbase is obliterated.

It would be a delicious irony if, as a result of devolution, his options on the wider stage were seriously restricted, but then he and the Scots Junta have only themselves to blame for that particular mess.

Welcome to the "Hoist with Your Own Petard Club", Gordon!

BTW, the area most in support of independence is apparently Fife, one constituency of which is held by.....GB.

On the basis of this poll the other big losers would be the LibDems who face oblivion there at the hands of the Nats. If the squeeze also went on them in England and Wales, they could be in for a real disaster. A bit of Kremlin watching there might also repay dividends.

What those figures of eugene's show is that back in 2001 Blair's and Labour's honeymoon was still going strong.
When the media talk of honeymoons, what the effect usually is is fashion - in the 1990's and again to a lesser extent after the 2001 General Election, there was a trend towards it being seen as being unfashionable to support the Conservative Party and towards supporti9ng Labour and Labour's support was hugely exaggerated and the lowness of Conserv ative support also hugely exaggerated.

In the period from mid 2003 to the turn of 2006 the opinion polls probably were actually fairly close to what actual opinion was mostly, since then there had been perhaps a slight tendency for them to slightly understate Labour's actual support which was because Labour had become a bit out of fashion, there were indications that Labour's support was already starting to recover in the Scottish Parliamentary elections and the Local Elections, if these elections were reheld now I rather suspect that Labour and the SNP would perhaps both be up a little, but still neck and neck, and in the Local Elections the Conservatives would still probably get a higher vote than Labour - Local Elections are frequently very different from General Elections even at the same time.

In fact the bounce is more that David Cameron has been having difficulties with some issues rather than Labour support having gone up particularily. John Major for example was little associated with the previous years of Conservative government, Gordon Brown is and so naturally there is more of a continuity than if for example Ed Balls or David Milliband had become leader.

The Scotsman
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1262722007
attributes the discrepancy between support for independence and increased support for SNP to satisfaction with how SNP are performing in day-to-day government. (There is a nice quip in one of the comments that this is maybe just the equivalent of a Brown Bounce, i.e. a Salmond Leap!)

This could well cause concern for Labour's showing in Scotland in an early General Election thereby reducing such a probability.

Comments on The Scotsman's boards are showing an increasing (though still small) incidence of support for English parliament/independence, as an indirect means of furthering devolution+ or independence. Maybe Home Rule for England could attract some votes to Scottish Tory candidates by those who want devolution+ rather than independence.

MORI gives 14% to others. That is enough to swing the result of an election against Labour - as SNP and BNP hurt labour more than any other and these two seem to be the ones making the progress.

Brown has an 69% to 10% advantage over Brown when it comes to the best man to handle a crisis

One day the editor will change the headline....Brown 'bounce' (off walls ?)

That is enough to swing the result of an election against Labour - as SNP and BNP hurt labour more than any other and these two seem to be the ones making the progress.
The SNP might take a number of seats of Labour, although I rather think that the SNP upsurge will dip by the General Election, in fact the Labour vote in Scotland held up quite well, the SNP benefited mainly from the collapse of other parties who favoured an Independent Scotland.

So far as the BNP goes I have yet to see a single Parliamentary seat in which they affected the outcome beyond affecting the final majority the seat was won by, mostly they have had an impact in safe Labour seats and then only in 1 or 2 at a time.

UKIP have undoubtedly had an effect on the results in some marginal constituencies, although exactly to what degree is hard to determine.

Gordon Brown has a difficult decision to make. Are the Conservatives so weakened by dissent that he can hold an early election whilst not having party funds adequate for the task? If he delays he knows that inevitably the chickens will come home to roost and his only chance two years from now would be to get all troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

I think he will take his chances on early whilst Cameron is struggling to get out of the quicksands.

I think he will take his chances on early whilst Cameron is struggling to get out of the quicksands.

He will be crazy if he doesn't.

It's not just a matter of the Tories being weakened by dissent, although of course they are. Now that Cameron has lost his lead he has lost the only advantage he ever had.

As George Walden pointed out during the week Cameron's talk about change is utter nonsense, because change is the one thing to which 'Cameron's Conservatives' are NOT committed.

Their miserable formula - Nulabour policies implemented by Old Etonians - has now died the death it richly deserved.

I have been away for a week. I see our friend Tapestry - late of UKIP - is still beefing on about the immense influence of the BNP.

The way he's going the BNP will be quoting his unsolicited testimonials on their website.

Traditional Tory - would you prefer to put your head in the sand and ignore the 14% of the electorate who say they will vote for others, up from 7% in 2005?

It is not a testimonial, but an imortant strategic consideration that Labour particularly are losing support to the 'nationals'. Conservatives are by and large less inclined to vote for them.

The distribution of these votes in marginal seats could be crucial to the result of the next election. In blogs we are entitled to talk about the real world, and ignore the media narratives. It does not amount to support of any party to discuss its level of support.

All day you potential 'lambs to the slaughter' on this site have refused to face the fact that the (deliberate?) error in the posting:

"Brown has an 69% to 10% advantage over Brown"

Actually appeared in the Daily Mail and on Sky News this morning as follows:

"Some 69% said he (Brown) was the best leader for the country in such situations(listed as - floods; car bombs; and now foot-and-mouth disease), compared to just 10% who would rather see Conservative rival David Cameron dealing with them."

Now why not face facts and dump Dave? Well I mean, can you really imagine 69% to 10% it is quite frankly astounding, not least because I tend to agree with huge majority!!

If this is a bounce then either Brown is in orbit or Cameron is in some deep, deep, very deep hole!

Brown must be the most untrustworthy Chancellor in living memory. I suspect his lead in trustworthyness is more down to the hysterical right wing attacks on Cameron than Cameron himself. Remember, they liked our policies till they realised they were ours, who would support a party which has Telegraph columnists claiming to be political sole mates. There is also the point that some rightwing media, the Telegraph for one, who don't want to critisise Brown too much because that might increase Cameron's popularity.

I don't pay much attention to polls on voting opinion, even on the night of the election they are a bit unreliable, but you are looking at one poll giving others a much higher amount than the previous one, then there is the fact that the BNP is always claiming that it is on the verge of a breakthrough and yet even with the lower turnout of the last 2 General Elections they couldn't get to 1% of the vote even, in this years local elections they made no progress at all and in every General Election they have poured money into a couple of seats and have come nowhere near being in the running or altered who won the seat.

I would expect that any difference in support for Others since the General Election probably amounts mostly to increased support for the SNP and Plaid Cymru and it's not the first time that's happened, support was as high for the SNP in the October 1974 General Election as it was in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary Elections, they have had successes on and off since 1974 and always slip back again.

I cannot remember when the opinion polls have NOT overestimated the Labour vote

Can you remember a tacky line from a movie: 'Be afraid , be very afraid'? Change that to 'Be warned, be very warned, there will be a snap election.' Brown will be a fool if he doesn't call one, because if he does it soon he could annihilate the Tories. He will point to his handling of the floods, and foot and mouth, and - if he's very clever - he'll announce a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Then he'll call an election. And the Conservatives will be in the situation where their rightwing is attacking the only popular leader they've had for the last ten years, and they still won't be clear about whether or not they regard Iraq as a mistake. So they won't know how to respond to news about troop withdrawal.

The election won't be won by the party activist vote; the election will be won by the general public voting. A general public that in reality doesn't really care that much for politics. You're dealing with a majority of the population who don't think beyond what happened in the last two weeks, and who will see only the "successes" of Gordon Brown, however insubstantial those "successes" may in fact be.

Forget the Telegraph. Read the Sun or the Mirror, and see the words 'in control', 'Brown cancels holiday', 'COBRA meeting' .Most ordinary people read this as 'Gordon Brown is in control of the situation'. If you add in 'and he's brought our boys home' he will be almost unbeatable. Now read 'Tory donor no longer backs Cameron' - 'Cameron in Rwanda as constituency floods' and people see a man not in control. Why weren't these headlines 'Cameron ditches rightwing donor who wanted to control party policy' or 'Cameron visits constituency then flies on to Rwanda'? Until CCHQ is in control of the press operation, so that the tabloids are reflecting the Cameron agenda, Brown is looking at an easy win.

Why can't you see how much David Cameron has enhanced the Conservative Party? Stop attacking your leader, and get behind him.

Re Tapestry @ 10.32. You touch on an issue I have noticed. In my view there is little support to break up the Union whatever part of the UK we look at. What people want is some localism so their communities can take decisions. A proper effort to address this would expose the hot air of rabid nationalists whichever side of the border they are.

We should be working out what Brown will do and pre-empt him where we can and where it fits,

"'Cameron ditches rightwing donor who wanted to control party policy' or 'Cameron visits constituency then flies on to Rwanda'? Until CCHQ is in control of the press operation, so that the tabloids are reflecting the Cameron agenda, Brown is looking at an easy win." Keith Parnel

Why does it take a blogger to tell CCHQ how to run politics. E.g. Ruanda; it seems to me Cameron not only did the right thing he didn't have an option (apart from anything else the Telegraph would say he was panicking over MPs discontents). BUT. Given the obvious reactions why did not other Tory MPs cover his constituancy, telling everybody how much time he had already spent there and why didn't the local Tory leader get on telly saying how hard he had worked? Don't think this is clever, Labour would have organised it that way - standard practice. As Walden said in the Telegraph in an otherwise childishly stupid article this was amateurish. However proffessional at PR Cameron may or may not be, the rest of the party is just plain amateurish at politics. Frankly it is unbelievable.

YouGov poll in the Sunday Times reported and verified on politicalbetting.com :

Con 32% .. Lab 42% .. Lab 14% .. Others 12%.

Biggest Labour lead since the start of the Iraq war.

Let the speculation continue ....

I cannot remember when the opinion polls have NOT overestimated the Labour vote
They are based on the question of how people would vote if there was an election the next day, so mostly there is no way of verifying them as elections don't occur on that regular a basis. Opinion Polls during the 1983 General Election showed Labour support much lower than the eventual Labour vote was for much of the time, in February 1974 supposedly the Conservative Party was heading for victory according to election polls.

The Labour Party has never had a third term government before and for most of their history have been in opposition, opposition parties usually do better in opinion polls than in actual elections because people are more likely to favour incumbents where they are unsure about the effects of voting in someone different and yet know that an answer to a pollster isn't an actual result so has little actual impact.

Like most people here, I'm not a psephologist, but my understanding is that the single biggest reason that opinion polls significantly over-estimated Labour general election turnouts from 1997-2005 was low turnout in Labour safe seats.

To understand this, I think we need only understand what the point of voting is. Understood rationally, it clearly is *not* to change anything - not even the result of a single seat in the whole country each century will be decided by one vote, and the chances that that one occasion will be the one on which the result in that particular constituency will change even a single vote during a Parliament must again be tiny.

No. We don't vote in order to change anything. Instead, we vote for much the same reason that we clap in a football crowd. Does anyone but a few key cheerleaders believe his clap makes the stadium volume louder, or will encourage the players at all? But we clap anyway, just as we vote anyway, despite knowing that it makes no difference to those we care about, because it makes a differnece to *us*. We vote/clap/cheer/whatever, in order to *participate*.

In safe Labour seats, where people were absolutely certain that the Labour candidate would win, in elections that they were absolutely certain Labour would win, they decided they couldn't be bothered joining in the clapping - they didn't stand up to be counted. So Labour turnout was low. But that doesn't in the slightest mean that if the election were thought likely to be closer, or that if they lived in a seat that would be closer, that they wouldn't have voted.

The likelihood is that the opinion polls of the 1990s onwards very accurately reflected the state of opinion - overwhelmingly, utterly overwhelmingly, favouring New Labour over the Conservatives. *That* is not at issue. The only debate worth having is *why*, and what (if anything) to do about it.

New poll Yougov Labour lead 10%, is the election back on?

Brown must be the most untrustworthy Chancellor in living memory.

Not sure - they've all been pretty dodgy

51% think the Prime Minister best understands the problems facing Britain

He ought to, he created them.

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