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I would love to be a fly on the wall at Downing Street at this very moment just to see Gordon Brown ranting and raving at the latest polls - well done to David C and Crew

Surely the poll couldn't be connected with Cameron talking vaguely and giving the impression of a future English parliament and immigration controls, such as they were - surely not? Whatever next? What will the "Modernisers" think. We don't seem to have heard much from that source lately?

Brilliant!

This is fantastic news, made my decade. The more we can keep Brown on the back foot (and Heffer, not that he will take any notice) the better. English MPs for English votes? I think this is one aspect, but we need to tread carefully, its an Indy Jones run this one. Labour are treating English voters with contempt, but they focus on the man not the ball, so we need to be careful, politics is being dragged down by Labour, and we need to dominate .both the popular and high ground. 8%, brilliant. More please!

My goodness - this cheers me up a bit.

A 2-seat majority indeed? On a uniform swing maybe. Not if the swings are larger in the marginals - they usually are when we have a change of government.

Any opinion poll can be disregarded at the moment. The Liberals don't have a leader so any rise in support has to be put in context. I suspect the likely leader Clegg will go head to head with DC on the environment and other matters and fear he may be extremely successful in garnering support and taking key votes in our heartlands.

Sean Fear can comment on this, but, historically Labour never won with less than this poll, 41-33-16 is a poll we need to make the basic norm. Then 45-30-19 will get us in with a workable majority, by the time Browm hits his term limit and has to call. I am longing for the day the have to give up their ministerial cars. Prescott shagging his PA in the office in the Admiralty where Nelsons death was confirmed. Browns socialist scot-Lab mates lagered up, bouncing on Thatchers bed, sitting on Majors bog in No.10 shouting and laughing "nobody can stop us now" (FACT, details on application). Good riddance, think of it, in the long run, like an unexpected flood or an attack of dry rot that needs attention. Please let my admittadly awful analysis be as bad as it gets!!

Extremely encouraging. The Labour figure is fluctuating somewhat (33-41% in 3 polls) but we seem to have cemented ourselves above 40% for now. Long may it continue

Can someone explain to me why an 8% lead is required for a two seat majority and what is being done to address this imbalance? Surely this must be a top priority?

Wow!

this will give GB a horrible feeling in his stomach - Labour was the party benefiting from the LD slump, not us....could sit like this for long time, partic with more LD publicity to come - marvellous !

Lovely!

33% is still too much for that lot.

I don't see CR as reliable as ICM, but that margin still has to hurt Labour........

i_want_to_believe - the reason is a mixture of various things

1) Despite the boundary review, Tory constituencies are still bigger than Labour ones, so we get more votes in our "safe" seats to win the same number of seats as they would

2) Differential turnout - more people vote in Henley than in Barnsley Central. Again, this leaves us piling up votes in safe seats

3) Spread of our support - in a lot of seats we pick up quite a large number of votes (21000 in Cornwall N, 25000 in Taunton, 22000 in Westmorland, 24000 in Winchester) without winning the seat. This happens far less to Labour

4) Tactical voting - Labour's "true" support is underestimated, at least in part, by continued tactical voting for the LDWs in Con/LDW marginals

There's probably a few other reasons too, but they're the main ones off the top of my head

Well done David and Co.
Now go and kick the Bogeyman's butt on Wednesday.
How long before Brown needs the priest and the doctor running over the fields?

Cameron should get all his team together and demand of everyone total loyalty to the party!

If anyone has any skeletons to let him know now! as Brown will be looking, and using everything and everyone he can, to dig as much dirt on anyone in the Conservative Party.

Unity and strength of purpose with everyone singing from the same hymnsheet.

England expects that all Conservatives do their best for their country.

When its fairly close polls can be a drug; depending on how the compound is designed... many risk becoming addicted. Its kinda like sports too, for a more complimentary metaphor.

Excellent but steady as you go,

Matt

It annoys me that we'd be 8% ahead in the polls and still only get a 2-seat majority.

Just shows how much work there is to do.

Very, very encouraging though.

Key is when the sample was taken.

How long before Labour begin to think the unthinkable? Is Gordon Brown really the dynamic leader to take Labour forward? Brown has been exposed as a dithering leader who can't make his mind up. Worst of all for Labour Gordon Brown hasn't got any sort of vision for the future. Compare that with David Cameron and his team who are continually coming up with fresh ideas and new thinking.

So let me get this straight...

Yesterday when MORI put Labour 1% ahead it's all nonsense and we shouldn't trust MORI.

Yet when ComRes (who?) give us an 8% lead out of the blue the next day suddenly everyone trusts it and thinks it's great news?

It's turning into Cloud Cuckoo Land on here.

Good.

However, doesn't it make you depressed that the Tories have to be 8 points ahead just to get a 2 seat majority. Isn't there something wrong here?

Great news! One has to remember that GB is a true "behind the scenes" man. He was happiest hiding behind Tony's throne and sniping. Now he is front of house and it shows. He is the sort of person who has to take absolute power over every aspect, or he feels his personal world is falling apart. Chaos in fact. What DC has to do now, and keep on doing, is pile on the pressure, and pick up on him at every turn. Let him scrabble through his notes. DC should have every salient fact in front of him before every attack. Always remember too, that DC is a "front of house" man. What you see is what you get. Isn't that a refreshing change?

Come on, Editor! You know better than this...polls can be hyped like this when polls are relevant, i.e. in the run-up to an election.

But right now, as I said yesterday, the opinion polls (both the ones positive, and the ones negative for the Conservatives) are really meaningless. The LibDems don't even have a leader, and how Cameron does against them is perhaps more relevant than how he does against Labour. Plus there won't be a general elections for quite a while to come, in an economic climate that is likely to change considerably in the next 2 years.

It's fine to keep doing the "polls-of-polls" every now and then to see what the trendlines look like, but this breathless reporting of every wee poll is slightly ridiculous.

Christmas coming early?

Respect!!

It is a good poll. If ICM shows similar tomorrow then that would move been good to excellent (ICM is the best pollster with the longest verifiable methodology).

Don't get too hung up on the 8% lead only gives a 2 seat majority, because it is not so. All of the seat calculators use uniform national swing (UNS) to calculate who would win a seat. The marginals will have a different swing to labour strong holds etc. Its the marginals, as we all know, where it matters. IF there is an 8% swing there it would be meltdown time for labour (We are still a long way from there.)

Thanks Paul D. But it looks like despite the boundary review (I wonder if this two-seat projection takes it into account?) there is further work to do. It is almost enough to make me support proportional representation.

And what is being done by Conservatives to ensure that everyone who wants to vote Conservative - whether here or abroad - is registered? I seem to remember at the last election there was a huge problem with armed forces personnel not registered to vote in time, so thousands of Tory votes never reached the UK. Who is working on the British expats?

In a tight election mundane things like this could be enough to tip the balance. I would hope that there is a team at CCO devoted to these issues and making progress?

In general I don't see the kind of professional approach to all of this that would be evident in, say the U.S. Republicans, but then again I am not a party member so maybe there is something going on behind the scenes that I cannot see.

What will the "Modernisers" think. We don't seem to have heard much from that source lately?

Yes quite. Seems they've been kicked into touch. Whatever happened to 'changetowin'?

The Hug-a-hoodie Tories were 11% behind until Osborne turned on his own fan club and the party came out with some genuine Conservative policies.

Now that Cameron has (to use the favoured term) 'lurched to the right' on immigration, I guess these people will be leaving the party in droves...

...all 23 of them.

Richard said "doesn't it make you depressed that the Tories have to be 8 points ahead just to get a 2 seat majority. Isn't there something wrong here?"

No. It's because turnout is higher in safe Tory seats than in safe Labour ones.

For instance the turnout in Bootle, where the Conservatives got just 6% of the vote- it was 47.7%. However in Richmond, where 60% voted Tory, the turnout was 65%, and you can get similar stats for Buckingham and Huntingdon.

It seems Tory voters turnout even when the result is a forgone conclusion, but the turnout in most Labour safe seats is much lower.

More misplaced hyperbole on polls by Editor –not surprising given the YouGov connection with Conservativehome. Editor also making mischief re Europe on Today today.

I thought ComRes had dodgy methodology and they werent to be given as much belief as other more established polling agencies?

Com Res have been described as being the least reliable pollster on this blog in the past so I suppose we should take this one with a pinch of salt now particularly as it is so out of kilter with the others that have been published recently.
Glad to see that you're still using the sort of language that could be used by a Labour spin doctor Traditional Tory.I was starting to think that you'd abandoned this site as the news got worse from your perspective and the Conservative Party poll rating went up.

Annabelle Thomson? Is there more than one or are you the same pro-Labour Annabelle Thomson who is regularly to be found defending the undefensibile and attacking D.C in blogland.
Please forgive me if I am wrong but I am amazed at the number of our opponents who spend time looking/repeating/commenting on this site in order to say how unimportant we are.

Malcolm/James - ComRes have changed their methodology recently which should make their results less volatile than they have been in the past. The expectation of those who understand these things seems to be that they will now be less volatile than MORI but still a little more volatile than the other major pollsters. However, whereas MORI's methodology tends to overstate the Labour vote a little at the expense of the Conservatives, ComRes is thought to overstate the Conservative vote at the expense of Labour. So the truth is probably somewhere between these two polls. Note, however, that this poll is far more recent - the MORI fieldwork was surprisingly old when it was published. It will be interesting to see ICM's figures (expected tomorrow) - I understand their fieldwork was carried out at the same time as ComRes.

I suspect the seat calculators are not entirely accurate these days as they are based on uniform national swing (and many of them are working on the old boundaries). That means they are working from a base which includes a strong anti-Conservative tactical voting element. If that has gone away or, even better, been replaced by an anti-Labour tactical vote, the picture will change significantly. However, it is true that, for any given lead, Labour will tend to do better than the Conservatives. There is a very good explanation of the reasons for this on Electoral Calculus.

The most important thing is that, whatever the polls say, we must not become complacent. Labour did in 1992 and lost an election they should have won, although the fact they had Kinnock as leader didn't help. Thereafter, even though it was always obvious they would win the next election barring a miracle, they didn't take anything for granted. We must be hungry to win and keep working for it until the polls close.

Thanks for the clarification Peter.

Thanks for the info on Com Res Peter. I agree entirely with your last paragraph.

This poll reflects local council by-election results!

A big collapse in Brown's support makes a bigger rebellion likely over the Constitution ratification in the Commons.

It might even be used as a way for Labour to dump Brown, if he's 10% behind in the polls.

Re Annabelle Thompson
"Nice to see David Cameron has taken 2 years to address immigration and then come out with a speech full of damp sqibs.....typical half baked effort by Dreary Dave to try and grab a cheap headline.
.....I rather trust them [Labour] more than the Tory chancers/opportunists....trying to incite hatred and fear"

There's more. See...
Annabelle Thompson. Sky news blog.
"Cameron on Immigration" 29 October 2007

And just think - we might have been two days before polling day and David Cameron PM by bonfire night (with Gordon Brown as the Guy in every cartoon). Imagine how we'd be feeling with a poll like that in those circs (never mind the 2 seat majority forecast).

Now it's looking increasingly likely that we'll have to wait until 2010, even if that would still make Brown a shorter-lived PM than either Callaghan or Heath.


Oberon Houston et al, uniform national swing suggests a lead of this type would only give us a lead of 2 seats. In reality, it would produce a comfortable working majority.

Posters have pointed out a number of reasons for this, but the most important is anti-Conservtive tactical voting which built up between 1992-2001. This declined in 2005, but still means the system was heavily weighted against us that year. There were numerous seats where the Conservatives won 38%+ of the vote, but still came second, because of the way the anti-Conservative vote was concentrated. By contrast, a far higher proportion of Labour candidates who won 38%+ got elected.

However, if the Conservative vote goes up by 8% overall, it suggests a rise in popularity for the Conservatives that will sweep away anti-Conservative tactical voting, and lead to bigger than expected gains. It also suggests that people are quite keen to get rid of the government, and would vote tactically to get Labour MPs out.

I'd therefore expect that a lead of 8% would give us a majority of 40+.

this will give GB a horrible feeling in his stomach
If it was a General Election result it would, if it was the overall percentage votes in next years Local Elections it might concern him a bit, an opinion poll 2.5 years into a parliament though he will not pay much attention to it, he's been around and seen opinion polls especially in mid term showing huge Labour leads in the 1980s and into the 1990s and will be well aware of earlier mid term polls and election results and how much worse they were frequently for the government than the final result.

And equally I have no doubt that he and Douglas Alexander and the Conservative leadership will be just as doubtful of things showing large Labour leads, and if they are hanging on every opinion poll or even groups of polls then they are fools; I have no doubt that they will be more interested in public opinion on individual policy issues and on getting public support for their positions on those things up by making minimal modifications and trying to swing the discussion over to their favoured line.

Sean Fear makes some good points.

These extrapolations which say the Tories need a 7% swing (i.e. and 11 point lead over Labour) to get their finger tips over a majority are based on entirely the lead/deficit versus Labour.

What they don't take into account are

1) The Conservatives would advance against the Liberal Democrats.

2) A Conservative share +7 % from 2005 would produce a very different political map anyway so extrapolating it directly from the 2005 election (which was basically still a faded photo copy of the two disasters before it) - is risky.
There probably would be sufficient room to target marginals better.


However, I don't want to under-estimate the task, because it's true that the Tories need more support to win than Labour.

For those who seem to think this is a great victory for 'traditional tory values' over 'modernising', two points:

1. It was always the plan to 'decontaminate the brand' (which despite what many onhere seem to think, needed decontaminating), before putting together a solid and broad platform of polices that would include idea from both the 'traditional' and 'modern' wings of the Party.

2. There was no crisis in thje modernising programme. The Tories under Cameron were ahead for 18 months > as predicted long before he took over, Brown had a honeymmon bounce that, although it went quite high, didn't last long (less time than Major's in 1992) > Brown's bounce has deflated and theTories under cameron are back ahead. No great crisis for David Cameron, who kept his nerve while more excitable members of the Party were flapping.

2005 election (which was basically still a faded photo copy of the two disasters before it)
The 2005 General Election saw a modest increase in the Conservative vote although in terms of total numbers and as a percentage of those eligible to vote it was still well down on 1997. The percentage of the Popular Vote for the Conservatives only increased in 2001 because turnout was so low.

The 1997 General Election campaign was dominated by people being followed around by chickens and by John Major wanting a freehand at European Convention talks which were going on, and with the arguments over the issue of whether there should be a referendum if the UK was considering joining the EU, it was actually surprising with hindsight that the Conservative Party didn't do worse.

In 2001 the Conservative Party would have done a lot better if William Hague had not apparently despaired near the end and largely left it to Margaret Thatcher to campaign - people expect the leader to lead in campaigns normally.

In 2003 IDS had actually built up quite a solid set of policies, with his removal and with Michael Howard abandoning much of the policies that had been formulated and going for a sloganised approach and the hasty beating down of any suggestions that if greater efficiency savings were found that there would be more scope for public spending cuts and so tax cuts, the actual gain in seats really reflected the collapse in the Labour vote. Labour were able to cruise to victory because both main parties failed to get their act together.

There is no doubt that a major part of the fall in Liberal Democrat support since 2004 has been due to people drifting back to Labour and there is a lacking of substance in Conservative policy, indeed on fiscal policy it has to be said that the Liberal Democrats added quite a bit of substance under Menzies Campbell, but were already in a downward drift when he took over.

People still feel that they have no idea what a government led by David Cameron will be like and when it comes to a decision on who will form the government this will make many uneasy who might otherwise vote Conservative.

People expect voting in a new government to be different from what is already there for one thing, there is a fuzziness about David Cameron and his entourage still on most issues.

James - For those who seem to think this is a great victory for 'traditional tory values' over 'modernising', two points...(blah...blah...)

Oh I don't think so.

Any more Grammargate, Hug-a-Hoodie etc fluffy flip-flopping and Cameron will be be back off down the slippery slope again.

This idea that the Tories would only get a 2-seat majority is short-sighted and absurd in my opinion.
All the indications are that the swings will be larger in the marginals. In the South and London there is a 14.5% swing to the Conservatives.

Sky News reporting that tomorrow's ICM/Guardian poll is Con 40, Lab 35, LD 18

Noone seems to have mentioned the incredible volatility in public opinion.
Polls are becoming about as unpredictable as the British weather.We have to recognise the development of the "fluffy voter", one who has little or no consistency in supporting any Party.Old fashioned brand loyalty is a thing of the past.
Some people seem to be as euphoric over a few bits of good news as they were depressed as recently as four weeks ago.We need to focus on the long haul.If the polls rerad like this in 2009, then we should feel more confident. But we must to learn from the mistakes of the past and reflect on the policy announcements, which have contributed to the revival in our fortunes.Keep the champagne on ice.

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