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This is indeed good news, especially considering the polls of only weeks ago. Ming looks to be in meltdown. I can't see the Liberals carrying him now that Brown has chickened out of the election. Will Charlie come back? Remember Charlie said he would never prop up a Labour government in the event of a hung parliament wheras Ming clearly would.

Yes but Lab is still on 38% and most of the Tory increase in support has come from the LibDems. Despite Brown's terrible week Tory support is no higher than Sunday's YouGov poll with a 3% Tory lead. This won't last and when the LibDems recover it may be curtains again for Cameron!

This latest poll result was indeed a Breaking News item on Sky television which I viewed at 8pm tonight.

Even more significant is that Gordon Brown's credibility has plummeted some 40 points, and David Cameron's, though trailing, has risen.

Good news, then!

Incidentally, the latest number (at 11pm) of signatories to a petition calling for a 2007 General Election at the Prime Minister's website now stands at 8015!


Liberals at 11% is the big thing. Two party politics is back.

Good news but like the poster above I'm suprised that Labour stayed on 38% given that they've had a terrible week.
We must be a bit more ruthless with who we put out to represent us on the media. Just watched Question Time.Caroline Spelman is I'm sure a lovely lady but she performed poorly tonight. Glad that Kelvin Mackenzie was there though!

Good stuff. However, I don't think there is sufficient evidence from one 'post Yellow Saturday' poll to conclude that the Blackpool Party bounce has 'hardened'. I see no reason why polls that have risen so rapidly for the Tories in just two or three weeks cannot drop again at the same rate. I hope that is not the case, but I feel that a 'hardening' of the Tory bounce-back is a little too early to call at this point.

On the contrary, TT - I suspect a decent chunk of the LD support has gone to Labour. The LDs might be in meltdown, but Labour are in government, after all. I think it's a myth that when LDs don't vote LD they vote Conservative; the ones I know have always leant towards Labour in that respect. Yes, I'd like the numbers to be a trifle higher, but it's a decent lead and I don't think the numbers are telling the whole picture in terms of public opinion against Brown/Labour.

The "plummet" in Gordon Brown's personal approval ratings amongst the public is only to be expected, and may not recover for a very long time, if not ever.

And to think, it is breaking the deadlock on tax cuts that has achieved this, after all the reluctance to talk of them. A sign, perhaps, that the public want more "clear blue water" between the Tories and Labour?

One must hope that Cam does not let this slip from his grasp. He and the Shadow Cabinet must work to capitalise on this lead and build on it.

Tory Toff - "Yes but Lab is still on 38% and most of the Tory increase in support has come from the LibDems. Despite Brown's terrible week Tory support is no higher than Sunday's YouGov poll with a 3% Tory lead. This won't last and when the LibDems recover it may be curtains again for Cameron!"
I don`t think it is curtains for Cameron, many Lib Dem voters are ex-Conservatives and so are many Lib Dem seats (eg Twickenham and Richmond in SW London which up until 1997 were Conservative seats). Cameron has successfully decontaminated the Tory brand and these voters want to see Labour defeated and they know the only way for this to happen is for the Tories to win. They know the Lib Dems will help Labour in a hung parliament. These two factors indicate that Lib Dem support may stay below 15% for the long term.

Despite Brown's terrible week Tory support is no higher than Sunday's YouGov poll with a 3% Tory lead. This won't last and when the LibDems recover it may be curtains again for Cameron!
I think the Conservatives are on course to increase their total vote, their percentage vote and their number of seats - I think though that Labour will get a 60 to 120 majority and probably at the next General Election 40% Labour to 34-35% Conservative and 12-16% Liberal Democrat probably on a higher turnout. I've thought it would be around that since the end of 2005, the number of Liberal Democrats elected will depend on tactical voting and it may be that the Liberal Democrats get a low vote and don't lose many seats?

I can't see Charles Kennedy coming back as leader, things have moved on and he is no longer the proverbial "Young Turk", Menzies clearly believes he can pull off something at the next General Election and is not going to go quietly, I don't think there is much desire in the Liberal Democrat party for some kind of palace coup. of course people did say similar things about Paddy Ashdown and after a shaky start he did recover a lot of Liberal Democrat support by the 1992 General Election and in 1997 the Liberal Democrats held more seats than the Alliance ever did although the Liberal Democrats even in the 2003-05 period did not match the support of the Alliance up until 1987.

So probably Menzies Campbell will stand down after bad results and be succeeded by Vincent Cable and Chris Huhne, Nick Clegg, David Laws or Sarah Goldsworthy will become the new Deputy Leader and ultimately probably succeed Vincent Cable.

I will now apologise unreservedly for calling for dave's head. I was completely wrong about our electoral fortunes and realise that we do have a chance at winning (mainly because of mr browns failings) and I now beleive that David Cameron is the man to do it.

However I do not withdraw my criticism of the part time front bench and the way the conservative party has been run over the last 2 years, but thankfully the shadow cabinet seems to have woken up, george Osbourne has certainly exceded most people expectations recently and david seems to be listening much more to what people want rather than telling them.

PS. Can we please not have any more 'David Cameron's Conservatives' ballot papers? Even I would have had trouble voting for tony lit with that coupled with the pale blue rosettes.

It's Nick Clegg or bust for the Lib Dems one feels.

Crudely speaking, they are 11% down on their 2005 election showing. The Conservatives are 11% up on their 2005 election result. Coincidence?

Maybe, but considering the abysmal week Labour have had, they won't be too unhappy with 38%, seeing they won with a 60-seat majority in 2005 with just 35%. However, they're going to have to exceed 35% to win the next election outright...

What Brown probably wants most right now is his mate Sir Ming replaced asap with a new vigorous leader who will actually set out what the Libs stand for, so they can keep out the Tories in those southern marginals like Bath and Eastleigh.

One feels that a big influence on the outcome of the next election will be when and how the Libs get their house in order.

One positive of this poll even if the Tories do not stay at 41% is that it shows over 40% of the population is willing to say at one time or another that they support us. This is positive and shows the potential for getting 40%+ in a general election (already have this in the local elections).

Also all the guff written a few years ago of the Lib Dems being the primary opposition is now over - we have 3 times the support they do.

Good news.

And I think Mr 'Tory Toff' above is Labour operative!

"Petition quip backfires on Brown" - BBC News 24, 11 October 2007, 15:45 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7039962.stm

"The number of people signing an online petition calling for a general election has leapt from 26 to 5,800 since Gordon Brown mentioned it on Wednesday."

The number at midnight on Thursday was 8227, and rising. http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Election-year/

The point I am making is this:

Given that this is a remarkable acceleration in numbers, it is unambiguous indication that the British public are severely let down by their Prime Minister and despite all his vacillation, it is now a moral imperative and a political necessity that Gordon Brown calls a General Election to secure the mandate to govern.

Please sign on at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Election-year/ if you haven't done so. And tell as many people as possible. I also believe CCHQ should mobilise all local association activists to spread the word to sign on, a simple enough act!

We must not let the momentum slip even one iota. We may yet witness a new technologically enabled democratic revolution post-Berlin Wall!

The abiding image is of Brown as a captive bear, raging in his chains as the jibes and insults rain in.
Blair would have deflected all criticism with a smirk and a dodgy debating point.
Oh dear, Brown isn't Blair and he finds himself prostrate in a dark alley, wth Cameron jabbing and slashing with impunity.




This is a crucial time to reinforce and maintain the new policy balance. Perhaps Osborne is the ideal 'trad' to counter Cameron's uber after all.

It would also help here if the ubers stopped baiting the trads (Malcolm etc yesterday evening with TT, you know it wasn't helpful).

With the dissent from the left growing (See Iain's link to Polly's rant) perhaps it is also time to stoke up the idea that Brown seems to have waited ten years to be a Tory!

"Policy balance brings power" - write it down, stick it above your pc's and don't forget it again.

Good news - but we need to make sure Ming stays in the picture!

"PS. Can we please not have any more 'David Cameron's Conservatives' ballot papers? Even I would have had trouble voting for tony lit with that coupled with the pale blue rosettes."

Dale I totally agree with your last comment. It was an extremely silly stunt and it backfired. Don't do it again!!!

The lesson in all of this, if not all ready abundantly plain, is that these poll leads come and go quite quickly.

We are one self inflicted injury away from another shift in support, perhaps accompanied by a rise in support for the Lib Dems.

There is absolutely no room for smugness or complacency.

But we do have an opportunity and it should be clear to the leadership just exactly what draws people to us as well as what repels them.

Crudely speaking, they are 11% down on their 2005 election showing. The Conservatives are 11% up on their 2005 election result. Coincidence?
It's never that simple, the percentage votes of the Conservatives were very similar in the 4 General Elections they won, but in each election the total votes they got were very different and it wasn't just a matter of people switching in 1979 from Labour and Liberal to Conservative or in 1983 from Labour to other parties. The Labour vote in the 2 1970 elections and 1979 General Election hardly varied, that too though saw various changes.

In 1979, 1983 and 2005 there were a few people who switched to the Labour Party from the Conservatives and even in 1997 and 2001 the Conservatives picked up some extra votes from people switching party.

The Liberal Democrats were heavily hit in 1992 by high turnout among Labour and Conservative voters, since then they have been benefiting from low turnouts of other parties supporters - when many who have abandoned both main parties over a number of General Elections start returning the Liberal Democrats will struggle to hold their own vote up - I don't think it's just a matter of Menzies Campbell, but more that in terms of votes they just can't match the Alliance although with their votes more concentrated they may well still get more seats than the Alliance even had just after the pact and certainly more than the Liberal Party had had since the 1920s.

Opinion polls usually tell you more about what is seen as being trendy, people deliberately lie as well - I don't think there has really been much shift in opinion in months, rather David Cameron had been in fashion, Gordon Brown was in fashion and David Cameron went a bit out and now Gordon Brown is a bit out. So the opinion polls starting showing 10% leads one way or another and vary hugely in a short space of time whereas actual opinion varies much less.

I would think a period of waiting would be useful here. These polls are highly volatile. We need to wait till the Parliamentary Session calms down a touch. The press went on the rampage this past week and this would be the typical result.

I assume the background work for this poll was carried out Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday. Brown has continued to have poor media coverage over that time. It may take a few more days to see the full effect. In any event and I think it sometimes takes a while for events to take a deep hold and for the public to fully re-evaluate their opinion of an individual, which is why D.C. had to follow up hard at P.M.Q.s. Brown's strenght is our weakness. I believe this has been the key to the resilience of his ratings. Undermining that is fundamental.
The British people were inclined to give G.B. a chance. That it is coming unstuck so quickly is heartening.
Most of us are sheep [excepting Toryhomers!]. If it becomes the norm to think something, others will follow suit.
These perceptions can be hard to shift as we have found to our cost.
My other half is not a party political animal. It would be fair to say I have given him grounds for divorce these past two weeks. He commented yesterday "It is funny how nothing was ever their fault and now everything is."
The mood music has changed. Let us hope that with the upcoming EU Treaty, we can build on it.
On a seperate polling note many commentators are predicting a Brown bounce among women. Apparently Major got a bounce [temporarily] with women whilst being beaten up in the Commoms. But the sympathy vote can never be good in the long run.

It would be interesting to know what is happening in Scotland, With the SNP doing so well in the May elections, they must be having some effect on the Westermister position.

Also all the guff written a few years ago of the Lib Dems being the primary opposition is now over - we have 3 times the support they do.

Until they get rid of Ming.

And they now have the time and very possibly the momentum to weild the knife before the next general election.

Can I just inject a note of caution?

38% for Labour after everything that has happened in the last two weeks is still a very good result and illustrates that we Westminster villagers see things and think things about which the rest of the country cares very little.

On the up side that *was* how Labour won 1994-1997 Firstly by engaging the opinion formers and secondly by them forming the opinion of everyone else.

What is essential is that there is early follow up with a lot more populism. Those who worry about the magpies are fools. If Gordon steals another headline policy he will be seen to be rudderless and laughed out of office in a couple of years.

Offer him something he has to steal.

If Cameron carries on with his unpleasantly braying note of triumphalism he will reverse his lead in no time.

I know it's all very unusual and exciting for the chap, but he really should calm down.

The black guy (sorry, can't remember his name) on 'Question Time' last night accused Cameron of coming over as a 'public school bully'. Plenty of others will be thinking the same way.

You see, most electors did not attend Eton, nor are they worth £30m. (unearned).

Neither are criminal offences, but they do tend to raise the spectre of 'out-of-touch'.

Good post Traditional Tory. Cameron does need to be careful not to be too triumphal about it. He needs to stay calm in front of the camera and just stick to his job. I know its going to be hard not to use that apparent wave of support, but it can appear very quickly to be arrogance.

I suggest he switches issues now and starts some momentum on something else. Perhaps immigration, which has been very low key and under-developed as a policy issue. It could make some headway in the North.

I suspect that 38% for Labour simply reflects the fact that not everyone who votes Labour watches the news every day or has a current awareness of how Brown is disappearing beneath the waves.

As the word gets out, and as Brown continues to flounder, as he will, I suspect we will see this erode.

Its all going wrong for our Sub-Prime Minister

Traditional Tory has hit the nail on the head - until they get rid of Ming.

We should be thinking several moves ahead. With a new leader the Lib Dems should be back in business and what will Cameron's poll position be then?

We need coherent tax cutting, quango chopping policies (amongst others) to take the lead.

Thank God the Lib Dems dont realise that they really need a new leader otherwise they will stay down in the teens. They can get tonnes of support in the polls but they cant convince themselves of the need for the change of leader.

I've only just noticed that those figures come from the 'certain to vote' people - 596 out of 1007. There's the key to success right there - attract those remaining people who are floating/wouldn't normally vote, and bingo!

"Opinion polls usually tell you more about what is seen as being trendy, people deliberately lie as well - I don't think there has really been much shift in opinion in months, rather David Cameron had been in fashion, Gordon Brown was in fashion and David Cameron went a bit out and now Gordon Brown is a bit out."

That's actually quite an important point of progress; the Conservatives haven't been fashionable for a while, hence the 'shy Tory' adjustment.

"You see, most electors did not attend Eton, nor are they worth £30m. (unearned)."

Oh please; take your class warfare back to the Labour party.

The CGT changes, affecting both small businesses and people like check-out staff in Tescos with large gain of their Sharesave employee scheme shares (as well as executives in listed plc's), have had a really negative reaction in business circles. I have never heard so many people during casual business small talk commenting unprompted on a political issue as they have in the last few days on the anti-business effects of this measure.

Do not underestimate the effect it might have on getting the business community much more firmly on-side the Tories at the next election. In the wake of the non-election debacle, it also reminds everyone extremely effectively of the fears that Brown is a socialist in New Labour clothing (which had been somewhat submerged during the "honeymoon").

"David" is wrong - it looks like a lot of former Lib Dem supporters want tax cuts rather than green taxes. Cameron must get rid of Hilton, Gummer and Goldsmith now!

I have to say I find Ed Balls a bit irritating. A few months ago he was interviewed alongside Ken Clarke, and he just made cocky rather lightweight partisan points which Ken made mincemeat of.

Yet he continues with an aura of superiority on economics.

I am starting to think that perhaps a tipping point has been reached!

ps, Make use of the graphic if you wish.

We always used to say that it was not opposition's that won elections, it was governments that lost them.
I suspect that our current increase in support has been due to both of these however. We are now winning the debate at a time when the government is making big mistakes. If their next move is to try to fiddle the party funding system to prevent Tory campaigns between the election, we can probably use that as the latest undemocratic move of an increasingly desperate government. It could start to look VERY bad for 'Stalinist' Brown.

Just as people have said "would you have called the election if Labour had been aghead in the polls?" we should ask "would you be changing the party spending laws if Labour were able to outspend their opponents in the marginal seats?"

On the whole, these polls are not going in a particularly surprising way for me. I always said that the Brown 'bounce' was based on quicksand and I still say that we should wait and see what the polls are showing next February before we get too excited about finding a trend.

Having taken a look on U.K. Polling, I see that this poll was taken entirely on Wednesday after 2pm. They point out that it includes a "home" bias since no one was rung back. We will have to wait to see the reaction of business to CGT and Brown's mauling. Even while I write this I still think we have to take a much longer view and accept we can not hold the news agenda indefinately.
Re: mood music refered to earlier, I notice Channel 4 news underlining the Govt. CAUSED foot and mouth, something they have miraculousy escaped the responsibility for thus far.

Still watching Channel 4 news. Brown has another problem with the "poles" : Digby is wobbling those in the tent. Marvellous!

I suspect that our current increase in support has been due to both of these however.
It's still less than 3 years into the parliament, at this point in 1981 and in 1985 the Conservative Party were being talked of by the media as heading for defeat. In 1989 at this point the Conservative government was facing a resurgent Labour Party and struggling in various elections - Labour got 42% of the vote in the 1989 European Elections compared to 34% for the Conservative Party, the government's troubles continued into 1990 and they didn't start to recover until Summer 1990. After Margaret Thatcher was removed in 1991 and into the Spring of 1992 it appeared to be virtually neck and neck between Conservative and Labour coming out of mid-term difficulties even after 4 years in.

At this point in 2003, Labour was also having major difficulties and in 2004 the media were claiming that things were heading for a hung parliament.

Even in the 1945-50 and 1997-2001 parliaments, the government had spells where they faced political difficulties and yet won majorities at the following General Elections.

When incumbents are behind they usually make up a fair bit of ground on their opponents.

Yet Another Anon should note that there have been strong rumours that Vince Cable is planning to stand down at the next election. He lacks the personality to lead the Dim Lebs.

If Ming is forced out, and he will not go without a fight, his successor will be Huhne, Davey or Clegg. Laws will support Clegg and be rewarded with a big promotion. Ming may take revenge on Clegg and back Davey, his Chief of Staff.

I used to think that Clegg was the main danger to the Tories but he seems to lack judgement, especially his thinly veiled attack on Ming. Huhne is more tactically astute and could become a formidable opponent.

Huhne? Doesn,t he have a small majority?

Moral Minority, if Cable stands down, that puts another seemingly safe Lib Dem seat well in reach of a Tory comeback-particularly in that part of South Londeon where we are optimistic of taking at least three seats from the Lib Dems.

Yet Another Anon, I hear what you are saying regarding the historical trends of government dips during mid-term; and I did say that we shouldn't get too excited until we have seen more polls showing us extending our lead.

However, I don't really think that we can take historical trendsfrom the 1980s and earlier to compare the present political world too. I agree that in those terms, the snall Tory lead looks unsurprising. But remember that at this stage in the 1997-2001 parliament Labour were so far ahead in the polls that they looked like they may INCREASE their majority; at this stage in the 2001-2005 parliament, Labour actually remained someway ahead in the polls except for a couple of blips here and there until the Iraq War fiasco (of their own making).

But this Tory lead is different in that it is not in response to some major event like Iraq or the fuel protests, it is business as usual. Furthermore, most people thought that the extent to which recent problems would have affected politics, they would have STRENGTENED Brown because it makes him look safe and reliable in a crisis.

We have not seen an opposition lead in the polls during 'business as usual' for over a decade and that was during the 1992-97 parliament which I don't need to remind you-the government lost! It is no longer sensible to start trying to compare currant polls with those from similar stages in parliaments some 20 years ago, that is a nonsense in the modern world.

It strikes me as though we ought to add 3% to the Tory lead to give us a more realistic picture of where the party is in the marginal seats.
All these assumptions of uniform swings should be discouraged.

Shaun Bennett, Vince Cable has a majority of 10,000. The local Conservative Association was thrashed in the London Borough elections. The very unpopular Tory Council hiked the council tax by a quarter in its first three years in office!! The Lib Dems could pick a deaf and dumb dwarf as their candidate and still hold Twickenham. The Conservatives should win Sutton & Cheam and Richmond Park easily if Ming holds on.

Ed Davey is very popular in Kingston & Surbiton and would be difficult to beat. The local association pick a Priority List newbie over its previous candidate, the excellent Kevin Davis. Davis nearly halved Davey's majority after the David Shaw disaster in 2001 and, given his high local profile, would have a better chance of beating Davey.

Huhne does have a small majority in Eastleigh but the Conservatives are only now selecting his opponent, a massive own goal. History shows that new Party Leaders enjoy a massive increase in their personal vote and majorities.

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