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Good ol' McMORI.

Are we actually supposed to 'believe' that McLabour are back in front?, nice try!.

It will be interesting to see the line of questioning and the social group used. Very unstable results, the Liberals climbing 2% based on mere uncertainty? Labour up 3% based on what exactly? I wouldn't take this poll too seriously.


I really do DESPAIR. Just how can MORE PEOPLE think Labour are good than a couple of weeks ago?

I could never be a pollster. Imagine having to listen to some braindead van driver tell you they thought Brown was more 'reliable on the economy', or a 'stronger leader', or 'the best person to look after the NHS', and not be able to scream down the receiver at the wanton ignorance of it all. I think I'd have a stroke.

We are drawn to the polls like moths to a flame, but we would do much better to ignore them and concentrate instead on leading public opinion by bringing forward unique Conservative policies which take on the government's failure.

...the poll is odd - it leaves only 6% to the other minor parties combined....which is way too low- the SNP for one is just on the largest party in Scotland.

Strange seeing the LibDems bounce with no leader and GB bounce a little as he muddles and dithers.

Margin of error could make this 43/38 so good news for Cameron - I suppose the key news will be what is happening in the marginals. We know GB is worried as he is sending out people to brief against Ashcroft. What should Cameron do next for momentum and to derail the queens speech? How about a recall of Parliament, vote of confidence on the EU Con with a promise to billboard every costituency where the Labour MP votes against the motion with a quote from the Labour manifesto on the pledge for a referendum and then a picture of the MP and their vote? Too bold or bold to derail GB's agenda?

Margin of error could make this 43/38 so good news for Cameron

wtf? On that basis it could also be 44/37 for Gordo

Simon R at 22.48.

I'm backing Labour. I'm not 'a braindead van driver' though I'm afraid. I have a first from Oxford and a PhD. Do hope you can work that into your head-scratching demographic.

Labour support looks solid and the parties are neck-and-neck. Anyone who thought Labour would be pushed over was very wide of the mark. Providing they can maintain a steady hand on the economic tiller they stand every chance of being re-elected.

First time since September 1992 that both parties are on or over 40%.

Very odd poll - I simply don't believe Labour are at 40%. Weird.

The only thing I can think of is that the Tory brand is not 'decontaminated' enough: Apathetics and floaters have woken up to the fact that there's an evens chance of a future Tory government in 2009/10, and are rallying around whoever's best to keep them at bay. Could be a case of 'better the devil you know', as in 1992.

I sincerely hope not though.

So we're slipping back again.

I see we're also having the usual 'oh well let's choose to ignore this poll because we're not in the lead' mentality.

MORI put us in the lead 41-38 last time, so I don't buy this argument that MORI is biased against us.

And anyway, 40% is a strong position for us to be in. It's just a shame that Labour seems to be doing even better.

We're getting into the trap again of underestimating Brown - he'll be far harder to beat than most of you think.

Interview just under 2,000 adults and weight the data and there's no guarantee it represents more than that quorum....

IPSOS MORI do give their methods online, but there may be a delay in publishing them.

I agree that the result feels 'out', but would also say that it might just reflect a receding of the conference bounce.

Some people are not so much floating voters as Pavlovian dogs, responding to the last thing they've heard. It is quite possible that uncommitted voters responded to the Cameron's Conference accolade previously, accentuating the bounce. Without this stimulus, they have reverted to type.

Cameron needs provide tighter assurances on issues like an EU Treaty referendum and sound immigration controls, as Brown will be vulnerable on both.

PS to James

This would usefully be repeated in LibDem constituencies, as only Mike Hancock and Vince Cable so far seem prepared to keep their own election promises on a referendum.

Clegg and Huhne are both going to shoot their party in the foot on this one.

Very odd poll - I simply don't believe Labour are at 40%. Weird.

Why not. A few weeks ago they were 11% ahead.

Cameron and Osborne panicked, unveiled their (totally unexpected) secret flagship policies and achieved short-term gain at the expense of long-term failure.

The only thing I can think of is that the Tory brand is not 'decontaminated' enough

Don't be ridiculous. The only reason we have recently made a comeback is because we returned to traditional party policies and played down the fluffy BS.

We need the policies, but we need the men as well, and at the moment we have all the wrong ones.

A couple of points about this poll. The fieldwork was carried out over the period 18th-23rd October, so it is actually older than the YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph (22nd-24th October). Also, MORI don't weight the results according to how respondents said they voted in the last election. This technique is standard with most other pollsters as a way of countering the fact that Labour voters seem more willing to talk to them than Conservative ones. If this result was weighted, the figures would look better for the Conservatives.

It is true, as Julian says, that there is no guarantee that a poll represents the views of more than the people interviewed but, statistically, 95% of polls of this size will be within 2-3% of the truth. Any poll with a sample size of 1000+ should be taken seriously.

We certainly shouldn't ignore this poll. However, there are two polls coming up for which fieldwork is happening this weekend. These will give us a better picture.

Having said all of that, it does look as if our vote is holding up at levels we haven't seen for a long time, but that our high ratings and the LibDems troubles are causing the anti-Conservative vote to go to Labour. Personally, I think it will take some time for Brown's failures of the last few weeks to filter through to the (non-political) general consciousness, so I suspect the longer term trend for Labour will be down but it is still all to play for. Of course, if there is a real downturn in the economy, that will almost certainly be curtains for Labour.

Soon MORI will loose any credibility that it has (not much I must add) and many people will start to ask MORI who?

This poll seems to have been taken BEFORE the previous one we were so happy about viz: Sept 18th - 23rd compared with 22nd to 24th

Looks like the Brown bounce has gone. Cameron killed it off faster than John Major's was lost (3 months versus 6), so that can only be a good thing.

There is now no rush. Brown has made it pretty much impossible to have an election this or even next year. What the Tories need to do is use the time they have to convince the electorate they can form a credible government and come up with a manifesto that they need to keep in a maximum-security vault, only releasing policy when it is deemed a good time to do so.

There is no need to panic and make hasty promises. Cameron's ratings are going back up and Brown's are going down. Time to settle down for a long-distance race than a sprint - worst thing to do now is waste energy just to get ahead of the pack for a few months and then drop behind again.

Clunking Fist - you should recognise that my statement reflects that the Tories are usually understated in the polls, we always do better than predicted.

The swing which put the Conservatives ahead followed very positive messages from the conference, and the clear impression that the party was now beginning to deliver crisp, defined and tangible commitments, IHT being the obvious example.

It surely can't be a coincidence that this apparent slip backwards follows the very high profile vacilation about whether or not the party will give the electorate a referendum on the new EU treaty if returned to power....particularly after appearing to promise such a referendum only a few weeks ago.

Sadly this refusal to give a firm committment tends to make the very real achievements of the party conference begin to look like a set piece PR event rather than a demonstration of true conviction and integrity - the very values which drove the original swing, IMO.

The only surprising thing about this is why anyone is surprised.

The Tories have gone down by just 1% - where on earth has this extra LibLab support supposed to have come from?

You need to compare like for like polls. That Mori poll conducted with the same methodology as this one is the begining of September poll - that is face to face rather than telephone and the same sample size. That gives the Tories a +9 and Labour down 3.

The Mori poll which Tim(Sorry Tim but the headline is wrong) used a smaller sample and a telephone canvass. This poll is there regular 2000+ sample and done face to face.


I think you need to make this clear above as there is a big difference to the swings.

We have not slipped backwards, the Observer and Tim are comparing apples and pears and making a lemon!

Don't polling results depend on what questions were asked, and who agreed to be interviewed?? Just asking, you understand, as personally,I would run a mile from any pollster, leaving the "brain dead van driver" to supply all the answers.

Richard, of course it dissapoints me that someone who clearly has advanced analytical skills would actively support a disastrously profligate and mendacious Government whose only ambition is and has always been to remain in office for as long as possible. But it doesn't surprise me. There will always be some people who vote for a party because that is their traditional allegiance, for whatever reason. I don't think for a minute that you truly believe that Gordon and the set of supine half-wits he has surrounded himself are equal to the task of seeing this country safely and successfully into the 21st century. But unfortunately I doubt you could bring yourself to vote Conservative even if Labour introduced mandatory kneecapping for all people named Richard. Which is why you'll spend the rest of the life-span of this Government defending the indefensible.

""But unfortunately I doubt you could bring yourself to vote Conservative even if Labour introduced mandatory kneecapping for all people named Richard.""

As a put down that was really very funny....

I am quietly confident that this is a rogue poll - let's hope this is confirmed over the next few weeks.
I find it hard to believe that support for "others" has been nearly halved in the space of 2-3 weeks, it's almost too ridiculous to believe.

Very unstable results, the Liberals climbing 2% based on mere uncertainty? Labour up 3% based on what exactly?
The figures are well within the rather optimistic margins of error that pollsters allow for their results.

People who are interested and many who are not will now be assuming that the Liberal Democrat leader will be Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne (although there is still plenty of time for someone else to enter the race and Norman Baker has said in the past he intended to run and thought he could win) - however it doesn't look like who wins the leadership race will make much difference, so in a sense, including not making much difference to policy, so there isn't really much uncertainty about the Liberal Democrats - it's one cardboard cutout or another.

I don't think actually support has changed much since the Summer, the alterations in polls have reflected short term fashion more than anything else, there is no doubt though that in a General Election this Autumn that Gordon Brown would have been accused off cutting and running and his majority would have been under threat, even if support was neck and neck at the General Election it still wouldn't be like a boat race because given demographic factors, if both Labour and Conservative ended up with 40% nationally then Labour would probably end up winning a comfortable majority, even possibly an increased majority.

Labour is still on course for winning a majority of between 60 and 120 on 11 June 2009 and the Conservatives are still on course to get 200-225 seats and get their best numbers of votes in total and percentage of the popular vote since 1992.

Annabel - yes, the results of a poll can be affected by the questions asked. However, reputable pollsters use neutral questions and ensure the order in which questions are asked cannot affect the outcome - the "how would you vote" question is always asked before the voter's opinions on the party leaders, for example. The pollsters always publish the questions with their detailed data. Any attempt to bias the outcome would be pounced on rapidly.

The question of who the pollster asks is more significant. The accuracy figure I gave in my last post is for a random sample. However, the sample for a poll is always to some extent self-selecting - it is those willing to answer the pollster's questions. The evidence is that such samples tend to be biassed towards Labour - Conservative voters seem less willing to talk to pollsters.

Most pollsters try to counter this by asking respondents how they voted in the last election and using this information to adjust the raw figures. MORI don't do this. On the evidence of recent general elections, a swing of 1.5% to the Conservatives should be factored into any MORI poll. If MORI did weight their figures on previous votes this poll would almost certainly show a small Conservative lead, but we can't say that for sure until the detailed figures are published (and maybe not even then - depends if MORI asked the question).

Other factors such as lying, people incorrectly recalling who they voted for last time and so on tend to cancel each other out.

And just to underline again, this poll was carried out BEFORE the latest YouGov poll. The obvious conclusion from these two polls is that we are sustaining a 40+% figure for the first time in many years but that Labour are picking up votes from the LibDems. Labour are hoping that the LibDems will start to take votes from the Conservatives. We must make sure they don't.

It is also worth noting that Cameron is getting the highest ratings of any Conservative leader since 1997. Brown's ratiings meanwhile are diving. It always used to be the case that Blair's ratings were higher than those of his party, something which helped Labour to retain power. Brown's ratings were also higher than his party for a while. They are now lower. If this carries on, it will be bad for Labour.

Simon I wouldn't normally respond, but actually I not only voted Tory since 1992 I even campaigned for a very senior figure. Admittedly I thought Blair was a total sham ... which is a solid reason why I'd similarly never vote for Cameron I'm afraid.

As I have been warning for three weeks we are losing momentum from the conference success. There has been no follow up. Once Clegg gets elected the LDs will rise again and we will be back to square one.

No follow up, Jonathan?

What about today's announcement on the West Lothian Question?

I think the party is aware of the danger you raise, however - hence Cameron's promise on Tuesday of monthly announcements on welfare, schools and prisons reform.

Surely the council by-election results are a better indication of the feelings of those people bothered to turn out?
if so, Cameron will be the next Prime Minister come the election. Could still be next year before the population ask about the £30 billion unsecured Government loan to Northern Rock!

I agree wth Jonathan in one respect. Since the conference Cameron's personal ratings have continued to increase because he's in the news often (and seemingly coming across excellently on daytime TV shows etc), but a big announcement on something/anything is definitely due asap.

The West Lothian Question could be it. But it's a highly volatile subject and Labour are going to try and blow a hole in it from the off. It must be all-hands-on-deck to promote and defend the new position - whatever position it may be (it's looking like the 'Grand Committee' thing at the moment).

If handled well, with papers like the Sun onside and Tories all over the news as after Osborne's inheritance tax announcements, any momentum we have can be more than maintained.

Is it true that Clegg will probably take about 3% off the Tory score?

Andy Stidwill | October 28, 15:36 "Is it true that Clegg will probably take about 3% off the Tory score?"

No idea - but if so perhaps some "..unique Conservative policies which take on the government's failure..." [Derek at 23:02] would forestall such a possibility.

Mmm ... maybe the overarching EU and England questions? Followed by the important subsidiaries such as immigration, health & crime.

OK Too sweeping a generalisation.

No initiatives of the eye catching kind I recommend :)
and EVfEL is only a trawled-headline-to-see-how-it-plays-before-being-announced-Blairesque policy initiative at this stage) and I don't think EVfEL is the right answer - see posts passim

I think what would be useful would be to know if we are comparing like with like. Also I think it would be far more accurate to stick with polls that adjust for those that actually vote. I suspect we are still reasonably ahead in that group. Other than this I am not too suprised at any volatility - I think we are in a period when the parties are crossing over at a tipping point and some people remain uncertain.

The polls should be ignored for a while as they are irrelevant at the moment. The LibDems don't have a leader and everyone understands that the Con-Lib fight in the Southwest (and other places) is going to have a major effect, in will, in many ways, determine whether Cameron can gain a majority.

Also, there isn't going to be a general election any time soon. These polls aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

"I'm backing Labour. I'm not 'a braindead van driver' though I'm afraid. I have a first from Oxford and a PhD. "

I wouldn't make that sort of boast. At least a braindead van driver might have some reason for being underinformed as to the true characters of the people he was supporting.You on the other hand clearly have no excuse for supporting the most anti-democratic government this country has seen since the Stuarts.

Nothing wrong with the Stuarts Alex. I've always had a huge amount of sympathy for the Cavaliers and Jacobites. Brown and most of his cronies do bear more than a passing resemblance to the Covenanters however.

"I could never be a pollster. Imagine having to listen to some braindead van driver"(my bold)

And that says it all about some in the Conservative party. I'm convinced there is still a minority in your party who believe it would be better if the lower classes didn't have the vote, because the 'natural party of government' knows what is best for them better than they do.

And just to show this isn't just about being anti-Tory, I've noticed this attitude in certain factions of the 'Green-Left' as well.

Unfortunately for such people, the votes of the 'braindead van drivers' of this world count for as much as theirs.

Thank goodness.

"I'm backing Labour. I'm not 'a braindead van driver' though I'm afraid. I have a first from Oxford and a PhD. Do hope you can work that into your head-scratching demographic". Richard.

I can understand that you may not be enchanted with the Tories (some of us aren't all bowled over either and may have to look elsewhere), but I cannot understand your backing for Labour.

Richard, I am sorry to hear that that you are afraid that you are not a "braindead van driver". All I can say is keep trying and you may get the job. I ve heard that education as been dumbed down, but it seems that even an Oxford 1st PhD isn't good enough to drive a van. Brown has a lot to answer for.

I can appreciate why you think Cameron is a sham. Personally I don't think he's the best leader we've ever had, but I do think he's well-meaning, and in general a very good performer as party leader. I also have niggling doubts that he isn't the man to make the really tough decisions that this country needs to begin a serious regeneration in the 20th century, but surely before we answer these questions, we should get the Party into power, and at least pause the reckless damage that Labour is inflicting on this country.

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