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A very nice way to close the day!

Mike Smithsons rule, yet again....
It doesn't matter why Cameron is in the news, if he is, the Tories still go up in the polls. The fieldwork was done Fri/Sun, during 'gaffegate'. I hope Mr Smithson won't mind me quoting him.....

'I keep a daily tally based on a screenshot of the BBC politics page and give three points to the main story, two to the other highlighted stories and one to the one-liners. It is pretty good system of predicting polls.

At the start of last year IG Index ran a weekly spread market on YouGov’s BrandIndex ratings of politicians. I think it went on for twelve weeks and my scoring approach for Cameron, as outlined above, worked in all but one of the weeks.'

He made a regular tidy sum until the market was shut down.

I feel a chorus of 'Stand by Your Man', coming on!

[Small health warning. Comres is often one of our 'best' pollsters, but we are still up three on January's Comres]

Off to bed now with an image of Ed Balls sulking over his Horlicks.

This is good news. We need a run of polls with these types of figures and better. The Lib Dems under Clegg are still not making headway - 17% unchanged hardly progress! We need to continue to prove more that we are ready for government. Us going up 3 points, with Lab and Lib Dems unchanged must mean we're gaining from minor parties, or from the 'stay at homes'?

[email protected]:56 I think gloating is a very ugly thing and maybe if we were less interested in polls Mr Cameron could start sounding like a real leader,you are obviously one of the win at any and all cost brigade which is slowly destroying the soul of our great party.Tony Blair was regularly more than 20 points ahead and some months was 28 points ahead so can you please stop stroking David Camerons ego and open your blooming eyes to the defeat we are going to suffer at the next election,finding solice in opinion polls is a fools game and i am no fool i suggest you should put less faith in these products of the press as they sell stories for journalists but don't find REAL CONSERVATIVE leaders

Gnosis, this is 2008, not 1997.

Anyway, a good poll.

Is the panic over now? A couple of only okay polls and This Week was writing the Conservative epitaph.

Not that this is reliable of course, but it does show you have to hold your nerve a bit and not get swayed by every bit of negativity around.

Having read the post by Gnosis I was ready to rush to Northernhousewife's aid, but on further examination of the Gnosis post I see she needs no help; his is the most convoluted nonsense bearing no relation to what she had actually said. As an exercise and indeed an attempt to understand Gnosis, I did try reading his missive backwards but didn't get past the bit about journalists finding real conservative leaders - heaven forfend!

Perhaps this poll is the blip Josh?

Gnosis = Simon Hefferlump.

That said the poll probably exaggerates the lead by a few %.

We can however conclude that last week's ICM poll is the poll that is way out of line with the others.

Perhaps this poll is the blip Josh?

Absolutely, that's what I'm saying. But the point is that blips can be found all over the place. There's no need for panic just because a couple of weeks don't foreshadow a landslide.

What this poll should do is not so much reassure Cammy/Ozzy of success as much as encourage them to work to achieve it. I don't think ComRes has ever been relied upon much anyway.

Looking at the last 5 polls or so, I would guess the current position is tory 40%, Labour 32% and Lib Dems 16%. A decent position but with a bit of work still to do. Certainly not the 3% lead Peter Hitchins disengenuously used without reference to other polls. This argument about Labour leads years ago is false as well. Polling techniques have changed since then to reflect the outcome more accurately. Always tend to find that as the last bastion of a desperate argument by peopl desperate for the party to fail.

"Off to bed now with an image of Ed Balls sulking over his Horlicks."

Hope you didn't have nightmares, Northernhousewife!

A good poll and a further reinforcement of the belief that whenver DC is on the TV people instantly warm to him. He has that wonderful range of tone emphasis that makes people actually listen to what he says.

I have to say that the more I hear from him about issues such as abortion limits and criticising Auschwitz school visits the more I like him. He is in complete contrast to Ed Balls, who is just an embarassing failure

I think that whilst this poll shouldn't be taken in isolation it is interesting that we are opening up leads in every area of the country bar Scotland, and even there we are now making progress according to this poll. We are opening up leads in every social group, and are challenging on the crucial issue of economic competence. This is a fundamentally sound position to be in, clearly we need work and we shouldn't be ordering in the Champagne yet but this is absolutely a good position to be in.

This is good news.Unfortunately, we have people like Michael Portillo saying we have not got a hope of winning next time- probably a view shared amongst some of the Shadow Cabinet-this only fuels the fire of defeatism and can only give encouragement to the opponents. We need to see the good news in the polls matched by greater commitment to winning by the Front Bench Team and the same determination shown by Messrs Blair/Brown before 1997. The ordinary rank and file, of which I am one want to believe we can win as we must.

We hope that when an election is called, we will have had a reshuffle of the shadow cabinet, that all shadow ministers will have attended seminars on running government departments and that they will have received detailed civil service briefings.

I also hope that there will be ready for the manifesto a whole raft of properly costed policies that cohere (and are solidly based on commonsense) which should then attract the extra voters to ensure that these promising polls are translated into a clear electoral win and not just lead to a hung parliament.

Please assure me somebody that all these things are already in train; a year or two years is quite a short time in politics, even if a week is not.

I wonder sometimes, whether people reflecting upon Tony Blair's massive lead in the 1990s, really understand the cyclical changes in politics.

The political landscape and culture of 2008 is very different to that of the 90s and 80s, as much as the 80s were for the 60s and 70s. Today we live with much less politically aware people and those who do vote tend to be softly aligned rather than ideological.

Labour's massive leads in the 1990s reflected exasperation with the economic mismanagement of ERM; 18 years of increasingly arrogant government and weak leadership. Labour hasn't quite got to that point yet and I believe the electorate has become slightly desensitised about sleaze following the Major years. Tory polling after the Conway affair kind of shows that.

However, looking at polls dating back 15 years ago in 1992 and saying we should have 30point leads in disingenuous.

When polls are poor or down, the polls are a blip and we should not take to much notice of them.

When the polls are good,(especially Commres) which every month tends to be good for us, we all get excited !

I still think that Cameron is wrong and is a spoilt Eton PR merchant who will say anything to try and get elected. The true Tory party is being ruined and the brand is being killed off.

When we lose the next election and then try to make a return in the future , people will not belive us .

There is still time to change, if we do not and we carry on into the mire please keep this blog and remember what I said !

I hope that I am wrong !!

Some of your contributers would never be happy whatever happened. Do they want a Conservative Government or Not!!
Do they really want more of what we are currently suffering because they are heading for it at a rate of knots.
Voters will choose those they feel comfortabe with and hope that their life will be assisted and not crushed by the government of the day.
Remember " The Ba......" who thought their principles were more important than loosing an election - well see what we have been landed with as a result!

I agree with some of these comments regarding passion, or perceived lack of, within the Shadow Cabinet. I would still like to see a lot more passion, and a little more fire-in-the-belly, from certain quarters. Take a couple of recent examples. Alan Duncan MP- hopelessly self indulgent on Question Time (again) and even allowed that union dinosaur from Unite to put us down. Philip Hammond MP on Newsnight debating Northern Rock with Yvette Cooper MP. Managed to turn an open goal into a 60 yard back pass. You would have thought the appalling Mrs Ed Balls had spent 10 years languishing in opposition, not Hammond. And where is Spelman, May, Willetts, Gillan, Villiers, Mundell, Hunt, Fox etc etc.

Do these guys actually want it ?

Time to promote more of the 2005 intake to the Shadow Cabinet, people like Phil Davies, Justine Greening and Greg Hands.

Gezmond007,I suggest it's you that is wrong and that you should be the one to keep this blog to read and weep over in the future,because the Conservative Party will be the next Government of this country whenever Brown calls for an election.

Gezmond007, your hope is fulfilled and you are wrong. The grassroots of The Conservative Party are battered, bruised and bothered. Much as in 1939, The British phsyche only stirs when real mischief is afoot.
It is today with freedoms just as undermined and under threat as those dark days before the second world war, that we see, in this poll, the wounds of Conservatism beginning to heal and the strength return.
The personal attacks on David Cameron are ridiculous. For me a privileged and wealthy individual does not need a political career for the purpose of feeding at the trough of Tax Payer largesse.
As for polls, they lift of deflate morale but it is the poll in May and London Mayoral vote that will determine the likely outcome of the next General Election. That could come sooner than many predict!

The lead appears to be consolidating nicely .
The Conservatives need to dominate with an overwhelming lead .
The only way to do this is strike out with a new and attractive policy which resonates with the electorate where it counts ie in England .

They need to announce a commitment to an English parliament and government and promise that , if elected , they will put it into place as a matter of urgent priority. Also a corresponding paring down of Westminster size and a complete restart over Westminster pay and pensions .

Thats the way to establish an overwhelming lead !

"we have people like Michael Portillo saying we have not got a hope of winning next time- probably a view shared amongst some of the Shadow Cabinet"

Michael M, according to Charles Clarke there is an 'inevitability' about defeat in the Labour ranks too. So I think both sides are as much scared as excited by the thought of the next election. It certainly promises to be the most exciting for a generation.

Jake - I totally disagree. I would say that the policy foundations are there and we really don't need to upset the carefully balanced applecart. What the leadership needs to do now is to draw the strands together into a coherent whole. We need to join the dots, give an overarching feel to how a Conservative government would look and feel, nothing that radical really but essential to future progress.

CONfused.
You are quite right about the many changes have taken place.
Another is in polling methodology.
The huge Labour leads shown in old polls have now been largely been discredited. Pollsters have since changed their methodology and so we are not comparing like with like. The only thing we are now sure of it that they were once 12 points ahead [at the GoE 1992].

Gnosis.
Anyone would think you were dissapointed at this poll?
I am a long standing Tory supporter who stayed with this party through difficult times. Even when I disagreed with the then leaders approach I did not seek their destruction in order to prove the rightness of my position. I have never lost sight of the fact that there is more to unite us than divide us and of what the alternative is. I would recommend that to you now.
Democracy is compromise not dictatorship.

I am an activist who puts in the hours. Why is this party more yours than mine?

As for my 'gloating' you may be right, but since it is Ed Balls [who plumbed low depths even by his standards], I believe there are some on this site who will forgive me even if you do not.
Indeed, a recent discusion on PB.com about the 'merits' of Mr Balls would suggest that my forgiveness would not be confined to the
to the ranks of the Tory Party.

As 'm dowding' has rightly pointed out, the Mayoral election in May is key. If Boris wins there, it could highlight a real shift in the country, and give momentum to the Tory cause. If he loses, it's another Ealing-style damp squib which tells us an electoral victory in 2009/10 is a distant prospect.

What is singularly most encouraging from this poll is the lead in the North. It may only be 1%, well within the margin of error, but 1% ahead is better than 20% behind and at least shows that, even if the Tories are still not exactly capturing the affections of Northern voters, Labour certainly are not either anymore. Governments lose elections...

Northernhousewife...
Forgive me for sounding like its "My" party as i don't think that at all and of course you have all the right in the world to say your piece but i just find looking at polls rather like watching paint dry and i can't stand sycophants and Mr Cameron is surrounded by them,i am a conserative to my soul and as its your right to love our leader its my right to have a deep concern about his motives,he will soon be backtracking on green taxes and you know what people will say then don't you? we will have another round of flip flop Dave,if i want to be a realist and think we wont win then thats up to me..if we do then i want to know what we are going to do on tax,nhs ect because if we get it wrong we will be thrown out again but i fear that it will be for good

@Edison Smith

Agree with you about the totemic importance of King Newt v Boris.

It is already apparent that Brian Paddick is both an opportunist and a political damp squib. How many soft Lib Dem votes Boris can peel off from him will determine whether we win, particularly in West and South West London.

UK Polling Report, and Political Betting have looked at the ComRes poll.

Dave B
Thank you for the more balanced veiws you have pointed us to on UK Polling Report,
it makes much more sense now.

Gwendolyn
You may not understand me as you are probably one of Mr Camerons sycophants so i will spell it out in good old working class english
Mr Cameron is a wet fish.
Polls are not worth the paper they are written on (See Uk Polling Report)
15% of Lady Thatchers voters have deserted us and are not coming back to Mr Cameron.
We will not win at the next election GET IT?

James Burdett says
"I would say that the policy foundations are there and we really don't need to upset the carefully balanced applecart "

James , filling out the policy portfolio and making it better appreciated is very necessary . However , The conservatives need to do more than this . These are not "normal" times . The UK is under threat as never before and simply to try and pretend that it isn't won't do . There has been severe damage to the balance of the UK as a result of Blair's/Labour's malignant and unrestrained pandering to celtic forces .
The UK was always a balance of forces depending on mutual tolerance and restraint and the apple cart has already been well and truly overturned .
The constitutional situation is now so unbalanced that it is not going to resolve spontaneously even if the Tories squeeze into power . England needs leadership and the Conservatives should step up and grab the opportunity . They will rewarded with a landslide but only if they enunciate a new and clear policy for English governance which the English can understand . EVOEM is unclear . It appears and seems like a fudge because it is . This is no time to dodge the issue .
There is a monumental opportunity for the party to escape the miserable old politics of class and go for something altogether new . The Conservatives should spell out NOW a commitment to an English parliament , an English government and fiscal independence combined with a proposal to trim the British parliament at Westminster .

Part of this is already happening under Labour . Capitalise on this . This will not be the end of the UK . It will be a new (federal) start .

Gnosis
If forgiveness is needed [it isn't] I am happy to give it.
You are clearly passionate and entitled to your views.
I am not a sycophant, merely someone who has waited a long time for the party to see the need to adapt. There is a reason the Tory Party is the oldest political force in the world. For the most part we are driven by what works rather than dogma and it is inevitable there will a divergence of views. Neither Disraeli nor Mrs T were exactly continuity candidates.

I am a regular on UK polling and do not spend my time spotting polls that are good for us. I pay attention to them all.
The reasons for my post above were twofold.

Firstly, I feel that some of our party do not appreciate DC's qualities and are quick to sieze the opportunity provided by poor polls to undermine him. Sometimes it would appear that those who allowed themselves the luxury of three election defeats, do not allow him the luxury of a couple of bad polls. He does not get everything right: he is learning on the job. Were his predecessors perfect?

Secondly, that the assessment above is provided by a committed LibDem who makes his money from the political betting markets. He bets on things as he sees them, taking money from those who see what they want to. Oddly, it takes a Lib Dem to point out some of the positives in our own leader.

Good post London Tory. Alan Duncan very disappointing on Question Time. He used to be good but not for a long time now.
Recently the only better than average media performers who I've seen recently were Chris Grayling on QT and Shaun Bailey on Any Questions. Both were clear and concise. We need to make much more of these people if the more experienced people don't 'want it ' enough.
PS Gnosis,I really think it's you that doesn't GET IT? You don't GET IT at all!

Malcolm...i indeed do get it sir .. i have seen these false dawns to many times to allow you or anybody else to convince me otherwise ,did you see graything trying to explain the rock on the daily politics the other day?he was lamentable to say the least,i,ll eat my words by all means if we do win but will you if we don't sir?

Northernhousewife...I am unfortunatly one who will probably never like Mr Cameron as he was selling itv digital when he knew it was going under and many of the then business editors said he a slippery man and other business editors refused to believe a word he said as he never answered questions truthfully so i may be a little blinkered about him and to tell you the truth i was always a D.D man myself but i take your point;o)

Gnosis, before David Cameron there hadn't been any dawns false or otherwise for the Conservative party since 1992. He's given us a chance when we had none in 1997,2001 or 2005. Polls are indeed worth 'the paper they're written on' although at *relatively rare) times they are wrong. If they weren't, Gnosis, pollsters would not be able to charge the fees that they do.
I think you are letting your prejudice about David Cameron cloud your judgement.

If Boris wins there, it could highlight a real shift in the country, and give momentum to the Tory cause. If he loses, it's another Ealing-style damp squib which tells us an electoral victory in 2009/10 is a distant prospect.
I still think that Labour will win either a similar or slightly increased majority, that the Conservatives will make another modest advance in support and seats, and that the Liberal Democrats will slip back to where they were in 1997.

The London election ought to be wide open, I rather think that Ken Livingstone is reaching the end of his political career - but Boris Johnson was never the man to win the London Mayoral election, people like him, but as a contestant on Have I got News For You, as a journalist and as a backbencher; when it comes to him actually aiming for a position in which he will be responsible for running things as a leader then people rather worry about what he will do and if anything it is possible that when it comes to an actual vote he will do worse than it appears he is on course to do.

So far as the General Election goes, 2 or 3 years into a parliament governments have difficulties, in parliamentary by-elections and in Local Elections the Labour vote has been firming up. Even in 1985/86 and 1999/2000 governments had their wobbles, in 2004 it was supposedly on course certainly for a hung parliament.

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