« Cross-party talks on party funding have broken down | Main | Tory MPs dissent from report calling for relaxed abortion laws »


Two points:

1) It's good we're still at the 40% mark.
2) Why do 17% of people think less favorably of Cameron now than before?

After tonight's debacle over immigration figures. And Frank Field reckoning that the actual number is over 3m! Chris Gayling playing a blinder and that awful witch of a woman on Channel Four (a minister!!!)I expect the Labour vote to deteriorate over the next months.

Brown is a dead man walking.

I just hope the Tories will come out fighting over thePoliticial Parties Funding Row. Maude is not the man to lead a fight. He is one man that should be put out to grass!!

Kick Brown it is the only kind of politics he knows.

It's all pie in the sky of course, but on a uniform swing this equals:

Cons 287 (+89)
Labour 299 (-57)
Lib Dems 36 (-26)

Lib Dems would be be kingmakers...

Losing 3% support to the leaderless Lib Dems? Oh dear!

I hear that CWF is having trouble flogging tickets for its dinner with Dave next week. I wonder why!

This is rather what I thought might happen - but even with the Limp Dims showing some semblance of life, we are still doing well! Let's keep it up.

What is interesting, and encouraging, from this opinion poll is that we are not suffering from the Lib Dem poll figures rising. Havn't we been told by much of the media that are poll climb is at the expense of the Lib Dems? This poll looks like the 2001 General Election in reverse. Ie a straight Labour to Conservative switch.

Obviously a good poll for David Cameron (although not a great one), but we really don't know how these numbers will break down when it comes to a GE.

Ideally opinion polls should be done on a seat by seat basis. National vote share doesn't win elections- it is nothing more than a number. Major won the national vote share hansomely in 1992, but 1,200 votes in the marginals would have cost him his majority. A few hundred changed votes would have made a 5 year term impossible, and Kinnock would have been PM by Christmas. But I digress into dreamland.........

It's never occurred to me before, but although theoretically possible for a General Election to be held immediately or tomorrow on the Royal Perogative, given the constitutional and practical difficulties of it and given that there has not been a General Election less than 3 weeks after a dissolution, what is the point of asking how people would vote in a General Election the next day, surely they should give a date and ask how they would vote if the General Election was on that date.

Of course an early election needs a justification, or many will think that the Prime Minister is cutting and running, if it was the end of a 4 year term now I suspect Labour would retain a majority at the moment although probably reduced, if a General Election was called for mid-late November now after only 2.5 years as at any time this year I suspect Labour would be at considerable risk of ending up having to deal with a Hung Parliament situation and being accused of cutting and running.

At a General Election in 2009 most will not consider it cutting and running and I suspect Labour will win a majority of 60 to 120 with the Conservatives either holding their position or strengthening it a bit.

The margins of error that pollsters allow themselves are ludicrously generous and there is much to suggest that people are not really paying much attention to the question asked when saying how they would vote and are in many cases being more image concious and worried about what the pollster might think of what they say, than they would be with a real ballot paper in front of them, and however much polls try they cannot replicate possible implications that many will be considering as they are voting in the real thing, whether their expectations and worries are real or fanciful!

Lib Dems would be be kingmakers...
The parliamentary arithmetic you posited would still allow for a Labour coalition majority, or Labour or Conservative minority coalition, or Labour or Conservative one party government involving a variety of Unionists and SNP\PC, or even a "Grand Coalition" of Labour and Conservative with the Liberal Democrats being the Official Opposition.

There are going to be some ups and downs - can't expect every single poll to be an increase on the last one, but we do seem to be getting a run of figures at 40 per cent or more. Keep it up.

Somebody dreams of a world where Neil Kinnock was Prime Minister and doesn't mention that (s)he woke up screaming in terror? Strange...

So it's very clear that much of the LibDem increase comes directly from losses to us. This may well get worse when Clegg actually becomes leader.

How does Strapworld see his County Of Cornwall performing in the current polling climate? Brown is very out of favour with small business people because of his speculators Capital Gains Tax changes and his stealth tax non move on motoring expenses.

Yet Another Anon - the margin of error is not something pollsters "allow" themselves. It is directly related to the size of the sample. The sample sizes typically used in the UK (and elsewhere) give a margin of error of 2-3%. To reduce this to 1% would mean a much larger sample - around 10,000 respondents. Those commissioning polls are not willing to pay for that size of poll. Blame the newspapers, not the pollsters!

As for the rest of your comments concerning polls, that is precisely why most pollsters use various weighting techniques rather than simply accept the raw data. Past vote recall ("how did you vote in the last General Election") and voting certainty are significant factors. Having said that, the need for weighting does increase the margin of error, although it also makes the outcome more likely to be right - an apparent paradox which I am not going to try to explain here!

This result is pretty much in line with ComRes, given the different weightings used by the two organisations. Of course, we need to see the details before we can start drawing conclusions about where each party is gaining or losing votes. Michael Davidson is being premature - I'm not saying he is wrong, just that we can't be sure until we've seen the figures.

I don't buy the idea that Clegg as LibDem leader (by no means a certainty) will take votes from us. Why go for Cameron-lite with no chance of gaining power when you can vote for the real thing? I think the LibDems will get some boost from coverage of their leadership election but I don't think it will deal with their underlying problems. I could be wrong but I think we are back to two party politics for the forseeable future.

I am really fed up with the trolls 'Moral minority' and 'Traditional Tory' with their stupid and non-constructive comments on every thread.

Can they please be banned?

Yet Another Anon
"Which Party do you pay your subs to? is what occurred to me.
It is all out cutting and running? Dream on LABOUR SUPPORTERS. It is all out the public losing patience and faith. Cutting and running has nothing to do with it. It is about people being fair/niave, depending on your persective: wanting to believe the best about someone. Not everyone follows minute political detail. Most deal in broad brush strokes. They gave GG a new credit account . They are beginning to withdraw it.

To reduce this to 1% would mean a much larger sample - around 10,000 respondents. Those commissioning polls are not willing to pay for that size of poll. Blame the newspapers, not the pollsters!
It isn't just the size of the sample that's the problem, it's that the factors in a General Election can't be replicated, it isn't just the campaign or even that it's a secret ballot, but rather that people are not laboratory mice and are aware that an opinion poll does not have the effects of an actual vote, so even if the opinion polls were to be held on a secret ballot and if 30 million people took part the actual results could still be different from what it would have been if it was a General Election.

Past vote recall ("how did you vote in the last General Election") and voting certainty are significant factors.
This assumes they are telling the truth about this too - even surveys of people who have just voted have shown in some cases quite sizeable differences between actual results and how people say they have voted.

Edison, 17% of people think "less" of Cameron.
Might be a compliment if it is from Labour voters who are a bit tee-ed off.
We disliked Brown more when we thought he was a more formidable opponent. I am not writing him off, but we can see all too clearly now that the Blairites had a point. Core Labour voters could afford to be patronising when they followed GG's line that DC was a "posh pansy".
Weren't the posh young guys the ones with the worst death toll in World War One? All that stiff upper lip and duty business.
I am not suggesting an unscripited speech at the TPC is the equivalent of "going over the top" but there can be little doubt who we would choose as a C.O. [ both in terms of nerve and lack of selfishness].
The middle-class champaigne socialists and class warriors under-estimated the stiffness of DC's upper lip [as did some of our own] and they probably hate him for it [as do ...well ... TT.etc]
Besides, it is a vague question. "Respected?" or "liked"?

Wasn't there a whole thread several months ago debating whether commenters who call for other commenters to be banned, should themselves be banned?

This is the blogosphere: get a thick skin. Unless you're spamming or your comments are legally actionable, you shouldn't be banned. Understanding that this is a moderated blog, this premise is distinct and apart from having individual comments overwritten or removed: banning someone is a far more extreme remedy.

Actually I rather take heart from the pathetic comments from Moral Minority and Traditional Tory. Smacks of desperation to me. Good. They have reason to be desperate. Agree with Northernhousewife that most people (left and right) understimated DCs guts. My view is - we aint seen nothing yet.

Yet Another Anon - My comment about size of sample was in reply to your comment about the margin of error that pollsters "allow themselves". A poll of polls should have a much lower margin of error than individual polls if it is constructed correctly and provided the polls it uses as sources were all taken at around the same time. Unfortunately I wouldn't rely on the Conservative Home poll of polls as I believe (maybe wrongly) that it fails to take into account sample sizes - an important factor.

Yes, it is true that the conditions for a poll are different to those in an election. Things can change during a campaign, for a start. However, the indications are that most people vote the same way in a poll as they would in a genuine election. That is why they tend to be fairly accurate in most cases. After all, despite your comments, most people aren't that interested in politics and give very little thought to how they cast their vote.

And no, past vote recall does NOT assume that people tell the truth. We know that people will get this wrong - they may genuinely mis-recall or they may lie for all kinds of reasons. That is actually a large part of the reason for asking this question. And the evidence of those pollsters that make this adjustment is that it works - it produces results that are less volatile and more in line with actual election results.

Polls are not perfect. There are a lot of factors that have to be taken into account when calculating the results, which adds to the level of uncertainty. And there are occasional rogue polls where the result is simply wrong. However, they are the best tool we've got and when they are all saying that our vote is holding up above 40% whilst the Labour vote is down in the low or mid 30s, that is almost certainly a fair reflection of the situation.

Good piece in today's Telegraph by Heffer (for a change) who is covering the election in Australia.

It seems Howard is cutting Rudd's lead due to 'better the devil you know' etc, which often occurs (1992 in the UK is a great example, but certainly not 1997!). Heffer raised the interesting point that 30% of people in generals don't make their minds up who to vote for until about 3 days before polling day, and 10% don't until they're in their polling booth.

Barring catastrophes, Labour will go into 2009 in better shape than the Tories 1997, and 'better the devil' will be a large factor again. Any lead the Tories have before pollng day will narrow, so we need to have a double digit lead just to keep Labour at arms length as polling day nears.

Of course, Cameron & Osborne could play a stormer and all these hypotheticals would be irrelevant.

I disagree with Michael Davidson. Clegg is vacuous, and says almost nothing of substance - I think that will be seen to be the case aswell.

I also agree that these people who call themeslves things like Moral Minority and Traditional Tory are a bit annoying - use your real names.

I think the reasoning about Clegg is a bit flawed.

The idea is that Cameron has managed to attract a number of Tory/LibDem floaters.

Then, it is supposed that if Clegg wins, he'll attract them back.

Presumably, the idea is that Clegg will have the same appeal as Cameron, in terms of policies and personality.

But, logically, if you have a choice between two people, both of which hold similar electoral attraction to you, why would you choose the one who has less chance of winning?

The Guardian understates the significance of this poll when saying this is the best poll in the Guardian since Tony Blair left.

There have now been 7 consecutive polls where the Conservatives have polled 40% or more. The last time this was true was July 1992 at the end of John Major's post election victory bounce.

Whilst nothing is won and there is a long way to go, when assessing Gordon Brown's performance it can now be said that he has been a significant factor in making the Conservatives more popular than any of his predecessors in New Labour. Thank you Gordon!

David, I think there are some Lib Dem activists on this site.

Plus a few right wingers who don't like Cameron who want to rub it in by talking up Clegg. Well these people can go off and join the Lib Dems.

Actually I tend to the right somwehat, but abide by the decision of the party which was to elect Cameron, and to his credit held his nerve over the summer whilst these idiots wetted themselves and wrote abusive comments instead of helping the party get it's case across.

Maybe the third option for the Leaderless Lib Dems then, is to have no Leader at all!

After all, they send out completely different (and sometimes opposite) messages in different areas, so having no central leader would be a logical conclusion of this.

I agree wholeheartedly that my heart sinks every time I see the deliberately negative rubbish written under the names of 'Moral Minority' and 'Traditional Tory'. Am I the only one who thinks that there is a spooty-faced Labour staffer somewhere recording this, and in the midst of an election will point some obeisant journalist to this 'knocking copy' as 'proof' that Cameron is unpopular with our party's grass roots?

Maybe the third option for the Leaderless Lib Dems then, is to have no Leader at all!
If they did that they would have to change the name again - something like Democratic Liberal Anarchist or something (DLA which of course also spells Disability Living Allowance something which given recent discussions over party funding would be rather appropriate for a disabled political party).

it produces results that are less volatile and more in line with actual election results
General Elections are only every 4 years or so normally, inbetween elections there is little to compare with polls because even Devolved Parliamentary Elections are not comparable to a General Election - the issues are just too different. There has been an increasing diversity in how people vote in different types of elections and frequently a Parliamentary by-election is very different from how the contest would go in a General Election. With a party with a strong majority it could lose a seat in a parliamentary by-election it would win easily in a General Election because many voting for parties for one reason or another may see it desirable to limit that parties majority or even perhaps prefer a Hung Parliament while seeing a large majority by their party of choice being preferable to a government of another type. The Conservatives lost parliamentary by-elections on huge swings in the 1980s and 1990s, they have dominated Local Elections since the late 1990s and had a far stronger vote than Labour in the last 2 European General Elections, the SNP\PC have had surges in Local and Scottish Parliamentary\Welsh Assembly elections that have not translated into gains at Westminster. How exactly are results on voting intention verifiable in a situation in which the only really comparable test is going to be years away?

"Maybe the third option for the Leaderless Lib Dems then, is to have no Leader at all!"

Not sure how serious this suggestion was but the Greens have been doing this for years, but now seem to be moving towards a leadership system (presumably Sian Berry would be a strong contender)

Not sure how serious this suggestion was but the Greens have been doing this for years
And the Greens are if anything even more wacky than the Liberal Democrats - none of the Liberal Democrat frontbench have yet proclaimed themselves the Son of God.

If they did have more than one leader, no doubt the Liberal Democrats would have a threesome - as with the Liberals before them there has been quite a distinct history of bizarre relationship scandals including among 2 of the 4 original candidates for their leadership last time around.

In the absence of a rebate, are additional charges under a "pay-as-you-throw" rubbish scheme (sorry about the pun) or any of its variants not another stealth tax masquerading otherwise under the green banner?

Oh I'm no fan of the Greens, YAA! Just pointing out the fact it has been done before.....

The LibDems may well (very unjustly) adversely affect the Conservatives' standing to a certain degree - but I'm confident the Conservatives will be on the up again after the inevitable Clegg/Huhne Bounce (maybe February onwards).

There's every chance that 2008 will be the best year for the Conservatives in terms of polls for the best part of two decades. The Brown Bounce is history, it will still be mid-term, Labour will have been in office 11 years and there are of course the May local elections.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker