« Dominic Grieve: Labour's left it too late to get a grip on immigration | Main | Boris believes election of Obama would represent massive breakthrough for race relations »


How long before the doom and gloom merchants get on? Not long I suspect.

The electorate has clearly decided against Brown. If he can't move voters on the back of the publicity of the last fortnight he can't move voters.

Polls are all over the place ATM! Need to wait a week or 2 to see them settle down and get a better picture. Interesting the jump for the LD's, it HAS to be solely down to Vince Cable, without him they'd probably be in single figures!

Perhaps Vince Cable is having some effect?

I think the YouGov is rather too mean with the LDs, and I think this is slightly too high. But another poor poll from Brown's point of view - probably the worst of the recent run. If we want to see our number start going back up and Labour's going down it's going to take time and effort on our part, but I think it will happen in the future.

Will Cameron still be doing OK on this forum when he is once again level-pegging with Brown?

Posted by: Martin Cole | October 20, 2008 at 17:29

I love the silly "pretend you are a Tory" then attack their leadership with special emphasis on Osborne. You stupid person. The minute 12% lead in the most up to date poll is as rubbish as the other two. If Labour get better than 23% at the GE, I'll emigrate.
Out in the real world there is an understanding of the fixing of figures (rpi) and the despicable sleaze hanging over Labour. Not least the massive stench allowed back in the form of Draper, Campbell and Lord Mandy of yachts and gangster parties!

I have not always supported our leadership blindly but I really stand firmly behind them as the only real alternative to the cretins in power. Every Conservative in the land must be resolute in support. Criticism must be valuable not childish self interest.

Brown is 99.9pc Clark Kent, 0.1pc superman.

There's something wrong with this poll . The SNP and PC always poll around 7% and there are 18 Ulster seats.

The -4% to 7% on "Others" must be wrong = badly so.

Funny how all the doom mongers and Labour trolls have vanished.

After three weeks of the "Brown is Superman" narrative perpetrated by the BBC and others of their ilk, there is no change in the Labour vote????

Yes, that's right - NO CHANGE!

It's curtains for Labour.

I love Prescott's arrival on the boost Brown bandwagon immediately shoved in the background on the arrival of Campbel and Lord Sleaze! As for his blog "Labour fourth, I totally agree that I would like and expect Labour in fourth place just as at Henley!
As for polls, constantly at or above 40%. Works for me for now. Election night however, well in excess of 50%.

If the "doom-mongers" and "Labour trolls" are right then the Tories need some substance on top of their spin to avert the possibility that the government can stabilise and then begin to erode the lead again. Most of the people on here are probably neither trolls nor Labour supporters, we just want the party leadership to stop worrying about their hair-cuts and to start putting forward something more solid about tax-cuts (or anything else).

PHI has panned recent Cameron speeches and although this may not have apparently had an impact on the polls, I personally want to see some really solid policy from Dave and George before I even think about voting for them for the next government. This poll is a blip - elsewhere the figures show a large lead for Labour on economic confidence.

I am as much a Tory as anyone else here but as a party we deserve a lot better than the current leadership offers. I have spent the last two years or so listening to "just another few months and we'll put out our policies". I hope I am not listening to that mantra in another two years, though I fear at the current rate it might take that long just to get something coherent.

Christina - the national polls always exclude Northern Ireland. Taking that into account, around 7% for others was about right at the 2005 election. It may be a little light now but I don't think it is badly wrong.

However, it is argued that UK’s national debt is actually a lot higher. This is because national debt should include pension contributions which the government are obliged to pay.

The Centre for Policy Studies argues that the real national debt is actually £1,340 billion, which is 103.5 per cent of GDP. This figure includes all the public sector pension liabilities such as pensions, Private Finance Initiative contracts e.t.c (Northern Rock liabilities). However, these liabilities are not things the government are actually spending now. Therefore, there is no need to borrow for them yet. It is more of a guide to future public sector debt.

Another problem is that with the financial crisis, the government have added an extra £500bn of potential liabilities. Note: the Government has offered to back mortgage securities. They are unlikely to spend this money. But, in theory the government could be liable for extra debts of upto £500bn. If we include this bailout package as a contingent liability National debt would be over 100% of GDP.

Problems of National Debt

Interest Payments. The cost of paying interest on the government’s debt is very high, at least £30billion a year.
Higher Taxes in the future.
Crowding out of private sector investment / spending
The debt problem will only get worse as an ageing population places greater strain on the UK’s pension liabilities.

Brown is off on his tractor stats again. Fraser Nelson reports the ghastly crowd are producing fixed statistics yet again. I hope DC will nail these fiddled Brownies big time at PMQs. I am also apalled how Brown is beginning to quote various public appearances by DC and looking to score childish points. I suspect a large number of Campbell/Lord Sleaze acolytes are involved here. Come on DC, let's show how it should be done. Open and honest.

Everytime the Tory leadership mention a firm policy, it seems the world is turned on its head, Wait until the ressesion bites. The workers paying the most tax will be out of a job. The tax payers of this country are going to scream.The army of lazy layabouts will still laugh all the way to the bank. The Tories should not mention a single policy until they publish their Manefesto. Then Yell all our hopes aloud.Ubtil then KEEP it under your HAT DAve

Forget Clark Kent, I like Finkelstein's General Galtieri. I was so relevant.

I cannot be alone in thinking that Brown's bank bailout has too many dodgy elements. Firstly it wasn't Brown's idea, it was Standard Chartered bank. Then Darling didn't seem to know anything about it on the Monday before it was announced, just in time for PMQs when Brown had been told something had to be done immediately or the banks were dead. Acording to reports it was the FSA who put the boot in to the banks demanding more stringent measurements than was necessary, presumably therefore, that explains the need for an otherwise solid Lloyds to get government money and the government having a majority of RBS. Salmond is surely right to question the situation of HBOS now with the bailout and if the usual, as opposed to the FSA, criteria had been followed would not the whole thing have cost vastly less?

Peter Harrison - The last detailed tables (1 month old) I have don't bear out your thesis at all. 7% couldn't possibly encompass the nationalist parties plus the Greens, UKIP, BNP, and "others" ( - whoever they might be but a month ago were on 3%) (*Independents etc I suppose)

All polls have a slight slippage in any single poll and this is a rogue figure which wouldn't matter except that it increased the 3 main parties by 4% , but which ones we don't know.

Christina - I'd be interested to know how you reckon that the last detailed tables don't bear out my thesis. The only regional breakdown in the last ICM tables is North, Midland, South - not much sign of Northern Ireland there.

YouGov state on their website "The 'vote' percentages exclude Northern Ireland (in line with all nationwide opinion polls)." I would presume Peter Kellner knows what he is talking about.

At the last General Election, if we exclude Northern Ireland "others" got 7.5% of the vote. That includes Plaid Cymru, SNP, Greens, UKIP, BNP, Respect, Veritas, Monster Raving Loony, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all! So 7% is low but it isn't miles out.

Interesting I think perhaps we are seeing a highwater of Labour support at 30% it iwll be extremly interesting to see what happens as the econominc downturn begins to bite.

If we want to build on this though i do think we need a steer on the direction of our ecoomic policy. we are moving into the next stage now people have had enough of Labour and want to vote conservative but don't know what we will do. I am sure I am teaching people to suck eggs but i think we now need the right sounds on policy if not the detail

Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?


Its an inept anti-English communist Jock traitor with no mandate in England!......


Peter - The ICM site says--"Sampling Method: Within each government office region, a random sample of telephone numbers was drawn from the entire BT database of domestic telephone numbers. Each number so selected had its last digit randomised so as to provide a sample including both listed and unlisted numbers." No mention you'll notice of GB there at the last Guardian poll. Though the Ulster issue is a bit of a red herring.

Those saying they'd vote SNP were 2% Plaid C: 1%, Green 1% UKIP * (0.4% in fact), and others 2%= total 6.4% BUT then to square with the published figures you have to adjust for the fact that no less than 45% opted out altogether (Not vote 17%, Don't Know 20% and Refused answer 8%).

Then that 6.4% has to be grossed up by dividing by 0.55 = 11% - AS WAS REPORTED IN THE PREVIOUS PUBLISHED POLL. We have no figures yet for the latest to see where the differences are . Maybe the don't knows all KNOW now, and the non-voters are going to vote . Quien sabe?

I think the betting window for decent odds on the Tories winning is closing. It would surprise me if Labour goes above 33% between now and a couple of weeks before the election.

Christina - That isn't how pollsters work. It is a lot more complex than that.

Those who say "don't know", "won't vote" or refuse to answer are excluded from the voting intention figures completely. ICM state that quite clearly in the document you have - "The vote figures shown in the table are calculated after ICM has excluded those who say they will not vote, refuse to answer the question or don't know who they would vote for". They go on to explain that 50% of those who refuse to answer or say they don't know are added on to the party they voted for in 2005. There are further adjustments for likelihood to vote and past vote recall. The fact that your "grossing up" calculation happens to produce the same answer as ICM's calculation is pure chance - that isn't how ICM derive their figures.

As I have pointed out before, excluding Northern Ireland the figure for "others" at the 2005 election was 7.5%. So the 11% in the last poll was somewhat high. This poll means that "others" are being squeezed down to a more normal level. To a degree, this is to be expected. If people think the race between the major parties is close, "others" will be squeezed. When they think one party is miles ahead, they are more likely to vote for a minority party.

If opinion polls included Northern Ireland I would agree that ICM's figure for "others" is somewhat low - it should be around 10%. However, there is a long standing convention that opinion polls do not include Northern Ireland because of its different party system - see the FAQs on the British Polling Council's website. Given that fact, 7% is low but not unreasonable.

Peter Harrison - You didn't read what I said. I did all the calculations for you from the raw data and came up with EXACTLY the same figures as ICM gives in its published newspaper headlines. That proves my argument is right. Weighting is another subject altogether and the pollsters play this very close to their chest . The practical answer is as I've outlined and the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We're talking about polls; so the ACTUAL voters in 2005 are completely irrelevant to this consideration of what I still maintain is a freak result. The poll appears to show a 4% drop in 'Others' ALL going to the LibDems when all other polls are writing the LibDems in at a much lower level and with little movement. Please get real.

Please don't keep dragging Ulster into it. It's irrelevant to the argument. I was just pointing out that your description of Sampling Methods is not the same as ICM gave! Accuracy is essential!

Christina - I do understand your calculation and I do see what you are trying to say (and I apologise for not expressing myself very well). However, you have an arithmetical error. Don't knows in the last poll were 18%, would not votes were 11% and 6% refused. That comes to 35%, NOT 45%. So grossing up tells us that 9.8% of those who expressed a view said they would vote for one of the "other" parties. The weighting for demographics, certainty to vote and past vote recall turned that into 11%.

The weightings used by pollsters are an attempt to make their results match those that would be produced by a general election. So the relevance of the 2005 Election is that it shows a figure of 7% for "others" is low but not dramatically so.

I would agree that the LibDem figure looks high, although both ComRes and YouGov had them at a similar level last month. But I cannot agree that the "others" figure is "badly wrong". "Lower than we would normally expect" is as far as I would go.

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