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Excellent result for the Conservatives there - 43% is lovely.
But how Labour have managed to stay unchanged is beyond my comprehension.

Survey was apparently conducted between Monday and Wednesday, so story hadn't sunk in fully

Another reason why everyone is hacked off with Labour is Home Information Packs. There's a cracking blog on Labour Home about HIPS which says everything about an arrogant, incompetent Labour Government which just won't listen.

But how Labour have managed to stay unchanged is beyond my comprehension.

It's not that hard to grasp, surely? Even with Labour in its current state of non-stop rolling one-after-the-next disastrousness, quite a few people would still rather not trust Dave with power. The truly remarkable thing about this poll is the steadiness of Labour's figures, not the minor improvement in Dave's.

43% must be highest since 92 election.

Poll Trivia:

This is the highest the Conservatives have ever polled on Yougov (First poll 2002) and it is the biggest lead over Labour they have ever scored on Yougov.

Devastating could well be a fairly accurate description when looked at in such a context.

If the poll had been taken today I don't think Labour would have been unchanged - they'd be thru the floor surely. But excellent that Tories are now going up. For my money that's the best sign yet. And it means Labour won't be able to crow that the Conservatives aren't making progress.

"Even with Labour in its current state of non-stop rolling one-after-the-next disastrousness, quite a few people would still rather not trust Dave with power. The truly remarkable thing about this poll is the steadiness of Labour's figures" Indeed. The disaster that was 92-97 will take a generation to be forgotten. That's why I still believe there is hope of a fourth term.

If the economy suddenly goes belly up, though, all bets could be off.


Conservatives polled 43% directly after the party conference last month (ICM poll - 11th October for the Sunday Telegraph). Before that we go back to July 1992.

'The truly remarkable thing about this poll is the steadiness of Labour's figures....'

Another of our Job's comforters - Drusilla??

OK so its not startling enough for you, but problems haven't started to bite yet!, you just wait till the spring when people feel more inclined to sell their houses, and the HIP's that a poster mentioned above starts to really make an impact. And that's only one thing...

The more intelligent factions in the Labour party must surely see that they can't go into a general election with Gordon Brown and the same old faces leading the charge. They need to gamble on installing a new guard of accept defeat and an opportunity to re-think strategy while in opposition.


I'm no expert, but I gather that it's actually a very, very difficult process for Labour to remove their leader. I cannot remember the last time it happened, though maybe that's (relative) youth working against me. In which case, they are properly stuffed.

Worth noting that most of this poll was done Monday (according to UK Polling report). Who knows what the fallout of this latest escalating Labour crisis might result in.

Now we're talking.

With the present government in such turmoil, we want to be looking at mid-40s polling. 43% is very good and would give us 350-odd seats on a uniform swing.

The Lib Dem vote is either at the bottom or the height of their expectations, depending on who is doing the polling!

My gut feeling is this poll is accurate. I am not too suprised at Labour percentage as I think this is getting down to their core vote in the same way that for years we were stuck on just over 30%. We must build on this result.

It's said a thousand times but I'll say it again - there must be no resting on laurels.

I wanna see us on 45% in a poll before the year is out. That's what Caroline Spelman should be telling the troops tomorrow morning.

I think Ramsay MacDonald was the only Labour leader to have been forcibly removed from office.

David, good point. I know well-intentioned lifelong Labour supporters who are so disgusted with the current government that they are hoping Labour will lose, the idea being that the Labour party will have a cull and a new generation of thinkers and idealists will gain control of the party. I can see their logic too because no person with any sort of integrity could give their backing to this rotten corpse of a government.

Many Labour supporters are now just not going to vote, but maybe they can even be won over? The British electorate has now got wise to the idea that the Liberals are a fickle protest group and voting for them is like spitting into the wind. So maybe many Labour voters are now ready to make the great leap of faith and back a Cameron government?

Another point worth noting is there is a differential effect caused because the Conservatives poll significantly lower in Scotland and Wales.

At the General election in 2005 the Conservatives polled 4% higher (36%)in England than the average of the last 9 national polls before the election (32%) and 3% higher than the actual national % vote of (33%) at the election.

In the last Yougov poll the detailed figures showed that whilst the national figure for the Conservatives was 41% the figure for England and Wales was actually 43%. Given the difference in voting between England & Wales it is feasible to think that in England the figure was closer to 44%.

Therefore potentially there could be a 2-4% uplift in this latest poll in relation to England to around 45%-47%.

This disparity will continue to some extent until such time as the Conservative parties support in Scotland and Wales reaches the same levels as it has in England.

Of course that said all usual caveats regarding polls apply and regional and individual constituency differences would reduce the impact of this, but in no different a way as they do national polls.

"But how Labour have managed to stay unchanged is beyond my comprehension."

Drusilla - said

It's not that hard to grasp, surely? Even with Labour in its current state of non-stop rolling one-after-the-next disastrousness, quite a few people would still rather not trust Dave with power. The truly remarkable thing about this poll is the steadiness of Labour's figures, not the minor improvement in Dave's.

Hmmmm - maybe partly right newlab Drusilla but nothing is ever that simple. Newlab have pretty much bankrolled large sections of the electorate. With a recession looming these voters (expanded public sector employment, public sector pension beneficiaries, large numbers on tax credit etc etc) will be nervous about supporting the tories even (despite?) the incompetence of the government.

This is at the heart of the battle for the next couple of years.

Nevertheless it feels like opinion is at a tipping point.

The sleaze word was used against newlab for the first time today in parliament by the tories. In retrospect Newlab perhaps did the current tories a favour by legitimising this line of attack against a sitting govt. Even though historically the tories suffered from this attack the electorate must always at some point say in light of current circumstances lets ditch our prejudice. In other words new indignation outweighs old indignation.

Voters act viscerally at times of great uncertainty.

It's amazing that the lib Dems are on 14%. Ok it's not up, but it did go to 11 a few times. This is amazing, stupendous momentum!!!

I hope you have all read Anthony King's analysis in the Telegraph. It is FAR more interesting that these figures.
There is a link to it on Political Betting. No Tory Homer should miss it. It will be a tear to your eye!
Off to bed dreaming of better days to come[and trying not to think of the bit in the middle].

Northernhousewife - which day's Telegraph?
Didn't get it today....(Thur 29th).

43% is the highest Tory YouGov figure. Have just scanned UK Polling Report.

Political Betting...
No. 91 on 'Thursday's Continuation thread.'

Just a word of warning... Anthony Wells is a bit calmer about it...but it is still lovely stuff.


John Leonard:
What does it matter what the vote would be in England only? We have general elections for UK Parliaments and that has to take into consideration the vote in Scotland, Wales as well as those other parts of the country we have ignored for too long (Yorkshire, Tyneside etc.) If we as Conservatives continue to see ourselves and portray ourselves as a (Southern) English party only we will find it very difficult to maintain a sense of legitimacy and credibility when we do get back into power.

Breaking news is that Peter Hain was given an UNDECLARED £5000 donation from their chief fund raiser!! Must own up before Yates knocks the door!!
Polls should see Labour sink well below 30% before you know it. Sunday papers will be something else!

All this is heaping shame on our country. If Gordon Brown had any integrity at all he would call a snap election and seek a mandate to prove that he has the trust of the British people.

Tartan Tory:

This is not a nationalist or regional thing and has absolutely nothing to do with how I or the party view itself.

It's a mathematical fact that there is a clear current disparity between Conservative voting levels in England, Scotland and Wales and I can't see how pretending there isn't will change that fact. All I have done is reflect that and point out how it improves the outlook for the Conservative Party across the country as a whole.

Furthermore, what does it matter you ask? Well if replicated at an election its possibly the difference between a hung parliament and a Conservative Majority, a slim Conservative majority and a solid Conservative majority or between a solid Conservative majority and a Conservative landslide.

As to how the party is perceived when it gets back into power. I think that will be reflected more by where the elected MP's come from than anything else and as it stands the vast majority will come from England no matter what (seeing as there are over 8 times the seats in England).

The important thing once it is in power is how that Conservative government approaches the regions where it has lost popularity, given that it is and will likely remain strongest in the South of England for the foreseeable future.

I think the Lib Dems should consider looking for another leader. On these figures neither Huhne nor Clegg would make the cut. Then again, there would only be 18 of them, they could probably all have a go at being leader in the space of one Parliament.

A good poll - but
We need to see some showing 45%.

The LibDem percentage is probably holding up because of Vincent Cable's performances.

Neither Clegg nor Huhne will be an improvement on him, and interestingly both have flopped over their previous enthusiasm for giving the public a say on transferring more powers to the EU.

Clegg will double the Lib Dems, and puncture Boy George and Dave.

I cannot remember the last time it happened, though maybe that's (relative) youth working against me.
I assume you mean an elected leader, George Brown and Margaret Beckett were both Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition succeeding the Labour leader under the party consititution when respectively Hugh Gaitskell and John Smith died.

The only Labour leader ever to be removed as leader was Ramsay MacDonald who on forming the National Government in 1931 was removed as leader by Labour's NEC and expelled from the Labour Party, he was replaced by Arthur Henderson who had previously been Labour leader when Ramsay MacDonald had previously resigned as Labour leader in protest at Wold War I.

Vincent Cable was probably a better potential leader of the Liberal Democrats than any of the others.

Chris Huhne or Nick Clegg will probably do no better than Menzies Campbell would have!

This is excellent news! We are starting to get a "run" of good polls now - which is exactly what we want! I think we should carry on doing what we are doing and let Labour implode!

Terrific poll from the Daily Telegraph, but alot still needs to be done though. It is now up to each and every member of the Conservative Party to do everything possible to ram home the advantege that has been created. If it happens then victory will be assured at the next general election.

I agree with those who reckon that 32% is a much more realistic figure for Labour than the 27% last week. We are getting down to core vote territory, and it is going to be tough to chip away further from here. We are going to have to plug away hard to get our next 2-3%!

Well said, Edison Smith. We want 45, we want 45...

Tartan Tory | November 29, 23:19
"If we as Conservatives continue to see ourselves and portray ourselves as a (Southern) English party only we will find it very difficult to maintain a sense of legitimacy and credibility when we do get back into power."

So, scrap the Scottish Conservative Party and merge to form a genuinely UK-wide party.

At the moment the Scottish Tory position seems to be "what's yours is ours and what's ours is our own".
A bit like devolution as a whole, really!

A good poll. I think that whatever happens Labour won't fall much below 30%. Tribal voting still exists in Britain which means that both the Conservative and Labour parties have approximately 30% of rock solid support.
I couldn't disagree more with Moral minority.The Lib Dem leadership contest has failed utterly to capture the imagination. Where are the ideas that either man has to take Britain forward? We simply don't know as we haven't been told.

Probably the reason Labour is relatively unchanged in this poll, is that the dyed in the wool, tribal labourites are still remaining loyal, and staying with the ship until it disappears below the waves.

Malcolm, and Annabel, yes, there are 200 seats that are unloseable for Labour under any circumstances.

We have the problem that our vote is spread around more evenly, so we can fall as low as 164 seats.

Malcolm, Annabel and Sean: well said!

I can't write anything which onomatopoeically captures the hurr-hurr-hurr sound that is coming from my belly.

Meanwhile, at Labour Party HQ...

Knock knock
Who's there
David Abrahams
David Abrahams who?
David Martin. Fancy a hunner thousand? My "wife"'s got the cheque in her handbag. I'm 26 you know.

Knock knock
Who's there?
Inspector Yates of the Yard
Inspector Yates of - oh, bugger.

"Well said, Edison Smith. We want 45, we want 45..."

I always thought that 40% was the crucual barrier? Have the goalposts been shifted by any chance?

Don't count your chickens on the basis of a few good polls.
Just wait until Archer's skeleton comes collapsing out of the cupboard and smashes all the furniture.
Clegg is just amazing.

Yes, Clegg is indeed quite incredible.

Votedave - yes the goalposts have changed.

Expectations change and the goalposts are fluid. We should be continually striving ane never happy until polling day. When we were at rock bottom on the core 32% vote, 40% was the promised land. Now the government is in such turmoil and we have a shift in the country, 40% should be a minimum.

Fair points there Edison - onwards and upwards should always be our motto. Consolidation should follow celebration.

Still, after being in the doldrums for all these years, 43% is still something to smile broadly about. :)

Annabel - it is a pity that it isn't a real ship with a real possibility of drowning, because the first people off the boat in those circumstances would be all those sanctimonious, privileged people in journalism and the arts who wear the Labour badge on their chest, while purposefully living their self-indulgent, privileged lives.

Yes, they are utter hypocrites, because they look down on ordinary middle class people - for want of a better description - who want the best for their children, and are prepared to work for it, but whom the government loves to penalise.

Richard Weatherill-'Yes, Clegg is indeed quite incredible''. Why? (Genuine question).

You are so right, Patsy! Nothing worse than a Guilty Champagne Socialist!!

Yes, the idea that Clegg is so wonderful is absurd.
He's a petulant, incoherent windbag, and I can hardly hear a single policy even when I try to listen.

They are making a mistake not keeping Vince Cable in post - he could continue to cause us some problems, but I think they are suffering a two party squeeze anyway.

It's well within the bounds of possibility that Labour can fall below 30% in a general election - it's happened before in their time as one of the two principal parties. In the 1983 general election they won 27.6% of the popular vote.

Opinion polls have been known to put them even lower, but I would say their core support is around what they managed in 1983, in general elections at least. In fact their lowest ever rating was 23.5% by Gallup in 1981.

Does this mean that Cameron is the first Tory leader in a generation who can truly say "go back to your constituencies and prepare for government"? Or am I jumping the gun?

I don't think they'd go below 33-35.

The 1981/83 figure is a ridiculous one to quote. That was the SDP bubble.
Let's be realistic with our forecasts.

We need to keep at 40+, and start to widen it out to 43-45.

Malcolm, I was using "incredible" in its most literal sense ...

Come to think of it, it is these same 'champagne Socialists' who enjoy making snide remarks about David Cameron's background and education (probably as much from jealousy as from political motives).

Comstock yesterday....''the disaster 92-97''.

Those are the years that still delivered 33 % to the Tories in 97...the years I became a Tory voter and supporter...the years in which there was the largest drop in crime in post War history and Ken Clark left Labour a golden economy....and I got to be middle class....that Gordon and Tony have just about nearly destroyed financially for me...

What disaster?

I seem to have an impersonator who is trying to smear me as a Lib Dem supporter. See the posts at 00.52 and 13.37 today. That is truly disgusting behaviour. I am a True Blue Tory and the Yellow Peril impersonator should troll elsewhere!!

Yes, Clegg is indeed quite incredible.
Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are both incredibly uninspiring.

So far as all this talk of core vote percentages go, it is important to remember that individual people vote - so if Labour's core vote was 8 million or so, as it would be if it were supposed that almost all of those voting in 1983 were core voters and it was posited that it was the same then as now, then what percentage it was would depend on the numbers voting for other parties - thus it could even be less than a quarter, or higher than a third depending on total turnout. Not that I'm saying the assumption about how many in total numbers is correct, rather just making an observation.

"The 1981/83 figure is a ridiculous one to quote. That was the SDP bubble.
Let's be realistic with our forecasts."

James, I'd like to think that at some point in my life we will again win a landslide of 1983 proportions or greater. The possibility should never be ruled out.

Will Labour change leader before the next election?

I seriously doubt it.

Who would want to take over the poison chalice right now? Better for potential rivals to let Brown lose the next election, then there can be a clearing of the decks and and a change of leader, and 4-5 years to rebuild the Labour Party.

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