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Anyone who thinks the next election is in the bag is kidding themselves.

I'm almost positive that this is a rogue poll, like that one that put the Lib Dems on 22% or whatever it was. I'm not so blind as to think that it's all easy sailing for the Tories until the next election, but the idea that Brown has done anything in the last week or so that warrants a 4 point gain is frankly a joke. Maybe they surveyed lots of people in Brown's immediate family...

Two points of not here.

1. We need to see more polls to see if there is a trend.

2. It's Christmas - bad time to poll.

The Libdems have been high-profile in the media a lot recently with their leadership contest: this is inevitably going to cause a bit of a "bounce".

Without the leadership-stuff, most people wouldn't have got to hear anything at all about the Libdems from week to week...

Good news beneth the headline figure for Cameron. The Guardian online report of this poll says..
"A blue tide of Conservative support is spreading to David Cameron in Labour's traditional heartlands, according to analysis carried out by ICM for the Guardian.
The data suggests that Cameron may be beginning to build an election-winning platform by making progress in the Midlands and the north of England, where the Tory revival has previously been weak".

Polling so close to Xmas is tricky, also the suggestion that we are not doing well in Wales is 'iffy as we have just had outstanging results in the Assembly election. The commentary lumps Wales in with Scotland but the two are completely different. Theres never been a really reliable opinion poll for Wales in my view, they are nearly always too small a sample and make no allowance for very different areas in Wales (some areas poll almost identical to UK polls and other areas are very different).

Great.. another useless poll!

Surely we should be comparing with the last ICM poll for the Guardian? In that case it would be Conservatives up 2 and Labour up 3. The other poll was for the News of the World.

This is going to be the last time I believe the polls. 7 Points change in a day and no major events.

Although the polls are likely to fluctuate, it would nontheless be wise to drop the idea about pushing the mothers of young children into work. That policy will cost a lot of votes.

As I've said before, I don't quite understand why you are devoting so much prominent attention to opinion polls when no general election is in sight.

Keep the Poll-of-Polls, by all means, and every now and then a closer look at some of the more reliable polls...but this breathlessly dissecting of each and every poll?

It's rather silly -- since an election is years away. These polls are pretty meaningless. Overall trends are half-way interesting, interesting polls not at all.

It is saying something though when a five point lead is considered poor for Cammy. I believe it would have been considered rather good pre-Brown.

Are we doing anything in Scotland?

It is time to get a new Leader there.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We should stop getting so excited about winning the next general election