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Good old "Guardian", producing the "Polls" they are told to.

A delicious dilemma for the usual federast posters on this site. Should they dismiss the poll's findings because the stated levels of party support are obviously rogue? Should they applaud its findings because of apparent public enthusiasm for the EU? Decisions, decisions . . .

It just beggars belief that 35% of people say they could bring themselves to go out and vote for Labour. What the hell is there to vote for since Brown became leader?

I think that it's getting to the point where the public are neither surprised nor deterred by sleaze and incompetence- they just accept it as a feature of political parties. The Conservatives need to do more to show how they would be an honest and competent party.

7% ahead in ConHome's Poll of Polls. Let's focus on that and not individual survey findings.

Having viewed with interest the ICM polls over a long period it is not surprising that the Tories have only a 2% lead over Labour in this their latest poll findings. ICM appear always to produce polls which favour Labour in contrast to other polls that are produced. The figures that matter is of course the one after the election.

I think its fair to say that the disadvantages of EU membership significantly outweigh the advantages. The original EEC concept as a trading block, an internal market, has been lost completely in the dash for a global economy and the imposition of a political superstructure.

Labour figure's is only some 5-6% above their base support.Its also interesting to note that that the Poll was effected before Hain's resignation. Polls are notoriously fickle,but i one reflects on things from October through to early December, the Government had blow after blow. They had a fairly easy run since Christmas but its looking like normal service is resuming. After Hain, there'll be Harman and Alexander. But most of all, it'll be the Ecomnomy Stupid! and that's the killer

MrB is right that it beggars belief that 35% would vote for Brown and Co. However, the size of NuLab's "client state" means that Brown will never poll as badly as Foot did. Almost irrespective of how incompetent Brown is and how badly the economy does I cannot see Brown polling below 30%.

That 20% for Clegg is the most worrying number.
unless we give voters more compelling reasons to vote for us the anti-Labour vote will be split and the hung parliament which is likely will become 99pc certain.

A look at the way the questions in the Guardian ICM poll are angled quickly dispels any value in it. The questions are so ambivalent it means they can be interpreted any way the Guardian wants - and it has.The most significant chunk as always are the 'don't knows'and apathy still rules. That is why real leadership from the Tory Party is so vital otherwise we will be selling our birthright because most of us (and most MP's) didn't know what it was all about. Pathetic !!

Both the Yougov and ICM polls show the Lib Dems gaining at the Conservatives expense. Clegg is slowly rebuilding confidence in his party. That's the real story.

Moral minority isn't getting overexcited. Clegg has boosted his party by 1% since he became leader. 16.2% before he was elected in the conservativehome poll average and 17.2% now. Too early to say that is "a real story"!

What did I tell you yesterday? Looks like I was right.

If these figures are to be believed it follows that Brown should not have a problem with a referendum as he would win it.However perhaps he thinks the Guardian is a left wing pro European rag and knows he would not.David Cameron should declare his intention to hold a referendum either pre or post treaty and stand by the outcome.The voice of the people must be heard.

I agree with Tony Makara (1223).

It is worrying that so many (whether as many as 58% or not) say EU membership is good for Britain. The BBC's relentless pro-EU propaganda may explain this a little, but lack of leadership by those who want our country to be a free sovereign nation again may be more to blame. It would be good to hear more from David Cameron (who has the leadership and communication abilities!) on this. We seem to be a nation with our heads in the sands on this issue.

What is the percentage of don't knows? I suspect that the 35% who say they will vote Labour are 35% of a shrinking number of people who will actually vote.

Opinion polls on voting intention are very unreliable, so reflective of what people think those asking the questions want to hear. Not only that, but many people either follow them blindly as if they were infallible or only accept them if they say what they expect. I expect people mostly have made their mind up about what they think about Peter Hain and the others in the mire. The support that Labour got at the last General Election had got to a low level, with the issue of the War in Iraq gone much support is returning, the Conservative Party is on a slow recovery but from a low base. Labour holding its majority, Conservatives strengthening and the Liberal Democrats losing some ground still seems the most likely outcome. 4 years ago the talk was all of hung parliaments and as has happened usually in the past nothing came of it.

This is pretty worrying and disappointing news, but I remain sceptical as to how long the somewhat delayed "Clegg Bounce" can last.
I'm at all not sure what Labour has done to deserve 35%, but I remain hopeful. No-one expected based on polls held in 1978 that we would be in government within a year and stay in power for nearly a generation.

"but I remain sceptical as to how long the somewhat delayed "Clegg Bounce" can last."

I would question whether this is the Clegg bounce, for I haven't heard him utter anything of sense, or the fact that Vince Cable has been very prominent in the last week or so making some very cogent arguments on NR and the economy, whilst the Conservative position has been confused, incoherent, and pretty much lacking in every aspect.

Clegg's Lib Dems are going to be a threat to the Conservatives trying to regain office and going on about Europe is going to prevent the Conservatives from regaining office. The party has to be moderate and considered and talk about the issues that really matter to people like schools, hospitals, the economy, the environment, crime.

Clegg's Lib Dems are going to be a threat to the Conservatives trying to regain office "

They aren't.

"and going on about Europe is going to prevent the Conservatives from regaining office. "

It won't.

I'm always reluctant to disagree with Sean Fear, especially over the analysis of a poll, but I'd be more inclined to say:

"Clegg's Lib Dems could be a threat to the Conservatives trying to regain office, but probably won't be so long as Clegg continues to fluff big interviews"
"Going on about Europe would prevent the Conservatives from regaining office if it degenerates into another pointless and childish civil war, but it won't if we're advancing a coherent policy".

With Labour committing to show we are "BETTER OFF in" the EU in an attempt to stave off wipe out in the 2009 eu elections I expect more such positive pro eu polling.I doubt it reflects true opinion.

"Clegg's Lib Dems are going to be a threat to the Conservatives trying to regain office and going on about Europe is going to prevent the Conservatives from regaining office. The party has to be moderate and considered and talk about the issues that really matter to people like schools, hospitals, the economy, the environment, crime."

The only person 'going on' about europe is YOU. You have never made a comment that isn't about europe.

The ICM polls do seem to be the most eratic over this period - they seem to show us up 3, down 3 more frequently.

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it (Moral Minority).

But we are relying too much on scandal headlines...need some new material aswell to blend it in - announcing general policy areas (incl. tax) without giving away specific details to have them pinched is the trick.

Keep up the pressure on pensions aswell...Geoffrey Robinson who sneeered and gloated last year about how he helped plan the raid in 1997 was on Question Time last week - I'm surprised they let him out of the cupboard.

"I'm at all not sure what Labour has done to deserve 35%,"

Posted by: Votedave | January 26, 2008 at 15:18

A few things they have done.

They have painted the Conservative party the colours they want. This is mostly because the Tories can't be bothered to defend themselves, some potential Tory voters will be put off by their side not defending themselves even if they are aware of the facts. The recent case is where Brown told Clarke that he, Brown, had to sort out Clarke's mess. Tories laughed, but, to some, the mud will stick and some people already belive it.

Labour give voters the impression the are on their side, Tories seem unaware of what voters think. One reason the row over grammar schools went down badly is because voters saw an unreconstructed Tory party supporting grammar schools when voters don't want them. During the last election Labour got away with the Rover debacle because they rushed around looking as if the cared. The Tories just seemed uninterested.

While Heine was under attack for sleeze Labour MPs came up with all sorts of claims against the Tories. They were rubbish claims and were dealt with without much thoght be the Tories. Some mud therefore stuck, but voters saw Labour people trying to defend their position. They know a Tory would expect little support.

Has anybody really wondered why the party needed to decontaminate itself when voters liked its policies until the learned they were Tory party policies?

As I said after question time on Weds , Cameron and his front bench team are being seen as smug Eton Boys ! People don,t like it, all sniping and posturing !

Ken Clarke is right , if Cameron wants to be taken seriously he should stop playing the comic to his back benchers and start talking serious politics.

Man of straw , lots of gimmicks and no substance !

ICM is never good for us.
The last four ICM polls for the Guardian have shown lower ratings for us than even other ICM polls. Why?
Why have they hung on to the results for so long. The YOU GOV poll is a week later [- but still before Hain]
I would remind all that Labour are not the only ones to get a kicking in the press recently.
Since Brown ressurrected MurdOch's ITV share ownership The Sun has managed to blame us for Gary Newlove & The Times went after Dave on faith schools.
The Daily Mail went after Osborne [donations]. Newsnight went after Cameron [flights].
G Pascoe-Watson went out of his way to bail Brown out of Hain.
Sky news had a go at Hague's EU speech of being funny.
I could go on.

And the latest poll ie.You Gov [which the most accurate pollster at the last election] has us 8 points ahead.
And the underlying comparision results[which Peter Riddell thinks are more important] are good.
And Cameron has had a lower TV profile [and so has Brown!]
And Cameron has not been in the News

IF the ICM poll had been in the news afew days ago we would have had a tizzy fit and then the YOUGOV poll would have come out and we would have breathed a sigh of relief and forgotten about ICM.
Hang on.... is that a reason to hold on to it?. Let us say you knew other polls would be better...just a thought.

"and going on about Europe is going to prevent the Conservatives from regaining office. "

If the party can't do something about 'Europe' there won't be any point in taking office.

I have spent the past ten years wondering why Brown describes his hosing of our money at an increasing number of unreformed public servents an "investment". All is now clear.

I'm not with those who dismiss this poll as a rogue because it doesn't afford them the result we want. It wasn't too longer ago that ICM was many on this blogs favourite pollster!
My own view for what it's worth is that many of our spokesmen have become very adept at attacking Government ministers but far less good at explaining what we would do as an alternative. George Osborne is a good example with Northern Rock and CGT.Consequently when one drills to more detailed questions it becomes clear that all but the most tribal of Labour voters realise that Brown and his ministers are monumentally incompetent but still do not trust the Conservatives.
The solution I think was made clear by Ken Clarke yesterday and to some extent the Editor of CH in his 'hare and tortoise ' thread that Tory policy needs to be fleshed out to a greater extent than it has already.
The second important aspect of this poll is with regard to the EU. That is that for those of us with a Eurosceptic persuasion still have a lot of work to do to 'sell' the Eurosceptic message with a greater skill than is often the case currently. Intelligent people like Dan Hannan realise this but too many of our number are so convinced of the case for EU withdrawal they assume that everybody will agree with them. Well they won't. The total failure of UKIP to prosper during the last two years is testament to that.

Northerhousewife, I am still waiting for someone to yell blue murder at the Tories being blamed for Gary Newlove. I am still waiting for someone to really clobber the Osborne donations story (missunderstanding?! what a flabby excuse.) I am still waiting for someone to clobber Brown over saying he sorted out Clarke's economy mess.

Do you really wonder why we are not 20% ahead?

Is it just me, or is our party taking the wrong stance on Europe?

With the increasing economic and military power of China, India and Russia - and with economic stagnation in the west - surely the only way to combat this competition is with Europe (the richest market currently) speaking with one voice and having the executive power necessary to make sure Europe is not displaced as a realistic superpower?

I here all the arguments abour errosion of sovereignty - but if europe could only come together as one entity; it would be immensly stonger for it. Has France and Germany any more to lose than the UK?

It seems to be logical fact that with Russia tightning its hold on gas supplies (a horrendous situation - Europe need's to wake up and get aggressive with russia) and with China/India looking to consume Western levels of oil in the very immediate future - conflict over energy is a very real possibility. Britain cant fight that fight alone - and the US will want it for its own needs. Europe is vital and our party cant see it.

Wether rightly or wrongly, labour is not putting up much argument for the union, so i think the UK's short sighted patriotism will continue for some time.

David Sergeant
We can yell as loud as we like; the only way the public hear about it is through the very same press who have been using whatever they can get hold of to throw at us [and looking for stuff when there is nothing to hand].
You can not blame them too publically -it will backfire. Ask Mrs McCartney's PR rep[ex].
I am not sure what the answer is -- but I am sure it is more compicated than just shouting.
As for ICM - M Smithson has raised an eyebrow about the Guardian ICM polls. Anthony Wells says look at all the polls and follow the trend - which is slightly down.
Bearing in mind the press we have had and Brown's concerted effort at a relaunch - with much the press behind him or at least looking for the 'turn around' story - it could be worse.
We have a very basic dilemma [the tortiose and hare thing] Do we stay quiet on policy and risk the electorate not knowing quite where they are with us or get policies out and give Labour the chance to steal them or rubbish them in the press.[It now appears as if the resuffle is to be used to imitate some of our welfare plans].
To keep quiet and let things take their course in the confident knowledge that you will have the right things to say and the right people to say it when the time comes[as in Nov] will take some nerve and as such may actually be the 'radical' option.
Being 20 points ahead in the polls now will not win an election in months time.

The 58% figure that people believe that EU membership is good for Britain proves that propaganda works.

Murdoch was trying to put the other side of the story in September but has since found himself under confiscatory attack from the regulator, and has gone backwards on himself. This could be affecting Cameron's polling level, reducing the 12% lead he had a month ago.

Richard Branson is obviously hoping to pick up some Murdoch TV crumbs as Brown starts to rip him to pieces. He is most unlikely to be critical of the EU, as would anyone else who depends on government for favourable decisions - 90% of all businesses.

Maybe Italy will soon demonstrate some anti-Euro fervour and events will get people thinking. There is almost no way the message can get out in the media.

Re Europe: The public attitude is straight forward. Most pollsters say they want a vote.
They do. But that should not be confused with massive anti-European feelings.
They do not want to a greater transfer of power - but do not want to pull out.
Better the devil you know wins again.
That is why Gordon still has 30+%.

That is why the underlying figures are more important [Peter Riddell and I can at least agree on that].
These are still improving [Gordon is seen as more and more of a devil].
They are better than they have ever been.
But they are not good enough yet.
That is why I was in our local party office on Friday and why I will be in next week.

Totally agree Tapestry re Murdoch press.
The soft peddling [back peddling!] has been astonishing. He stands to loose 200 million?
We can only hope that it gets resolved and a seriously t-eed off James M, who dislikes GB anyway, lets the dogs off.

Any idea how long it will take to play out?

Northern housewife.

Most would wish to pull out if only they were given the truth about our relationship with Brussels.
That lar Brown recently disinterred the myth that 3M jobs depend on continued membership, If there is any truth in that hoary old chestnut it is that 3M jobs elsewhere in th eu depend on their continued subsidised (by the UK)access to our market.

If the political elite (now confirmed by the revenue) would simply tell the truth we would leave within the year.

Also in polls th eu does not figure as a high priority only because people simply do not understand that most areas of domestic policy are now determined in brussels.

Jonneyboy.That is exactly the sort of complacent and rather patronising attitude of so many Eurosceptics that leads to the polling numbers we've just seen.

Nothing complacent Malcolm.

Facts whether you like them or not.

This government is bloody awful. If we were really saying something that excited the electorate we would be streets ahead and winning by-elections.

"I am not sure what the answer is -- but I am sure it is more compicated than just shouting."

Northernhousewife, (I bet you're not a housewife really but a mega-rich Wall Street powerwoman.) my point is you don't have to be complicated. The Osborne money thing was bungled because someone tried to be complicated instead putting it bluntly. Has no Tory MP expressed incredulity at, after 10 years of Labour, some buffoon is trying to blame the Tories for Gary Newlove? And does it not occur to anyone that if Brown continues to get away with saying he saved Clarke's economy people will believe him (a lot already do)? The country has images of the Conservative party which bear only a passing connection to reality, it just seems to me that all this stuff about not showing our hand or waiting for the election, reasonable in its limited way, is an excuse for doing nothing.

I repeat, why did we need "decontamination" when voters liked our policies - until they were told they were ours? I offer the answer that policies are only a part of the job, constant attention to image and other parties is the main job. Clinton and Blair did so well because of their system of instant rebutal, since Fowler the Conservative party seems to have a system of no rebutal. At least they could tell their own members - they don't have to shout.

Most would wish to pull out if only they were given the truth about our relationship with Brussels.
Of leaders of the 3 main parties since entry to the EEC, the only ones to advocate withdrawal while leader were Harold Wilson (who later changed his mind) and Michael Foot (who probably wouldn't have changed his mind, but would have made a disastrous PM, not that there was any chance of this happening after 1979) - during the 1970s and 1980s and after the Conservative position remained that the UK needed to be in the EEC\EU for Trade reasons, Margaret Thatcher vigorously defended the UK's membership of the EEC and claimed success in getting The Single European Act through.

Since 1988 the position of Conservative leaders has switched to complaining about the EU, yet while in government still letting EU extension of power going through - Conservative leaders have accused those favouring outright withdrawal as being fruitcakes.

In the last Conservative leadership campaign the only candidate to suggest that withdrawal might be neccessary was Liam Fox; David Cameron and David Davis have outlined reform proposals, but have not said what they would do if the proposals were rejected .

It's more than just about one treaty or another, the EU and associated bodies are hampering the UK's abilities to adequately sort out terrorists and other criminals, so to add to what has been a Liberal revolution over the 20th century in social policy the EU and European Courts are adding extra barriers in the way of neccessary action.

58% think membership is a good thing because it is a good thing. Talk of propaganda sounds pretty much like Marx's talk of false conciousness, and he is not a bedfellow I suspect you'd want to share with (that beard must itch!)

There is a bloody good reason why so many countries want to join the EU: econonmic, security and poltical benefits.

If you find yourself talking about mass conspiracies, the "political elite" stitching up the poor, deluded masses, you should read some David Icke. That would fit with your world view much beter.

That 58% of people recognise EU membership as a good thing is proof that the majority of people can actually see through the anti-EU propaganda spewed out daily by the Sun, the Hate Mail, the Times, Torygraph, and the BBC, all of whom wheel out Nigel Farage to whip people into a frenzy at any excuse.

We simply can't ignore the fact that if we want free access to vast open markets, to be able to stand up to Russia, China, and the US, to be able to deal with global problems such as security and pollution, we have to move as a continent. Anything smaller, and we sign our own death warrants. That so many Tories wish to sideline ourselves, to push us into a tiny box ignored by all, is nothing short of shameful.

Ever heard of GATT, John?

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