Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Poll Boost For Cameron

CON 43 (+7) LAB 26 (+2) LD 19 (-6)

More poll gloom for Gormless Brown, then, as this latest Ipsos Mori poll places Labour 17 points behind Cameron's Conservatives. Mike Smithson seems to think that this is evidence that the conference season no longer has as dramatic an effect on the polling system as it used to. At least that's what I believe he means because he cites evidence from the last two (YouGov and ComRes) polls, which suggested a narrowing of the Tory lead post-conference, that seem to show the kind of pulsating percentages we have become used to and which happens every day anyway, with or without conferences.

The psephological guru also points to the fact that the only party that received a palpable conference bounce was the Liberal Democrats and that that has unwound at breakneck speed as their public exposure has crashed. Labour and Conservative politicians remain exposed, as it were.

I fully agree with Mr Smithson. He convinced me long ago that contemporary polling is far more reliable than it used to be, and provides a more trustworthy and fairer reflection of the electorate's real voting intentions than its equivalent a dozen or so years ago did. It's worth adding that the annoying YouGov daily tracker results should, in my humble, be dismissed as a gimmick because the methodology that makes modern polls so reliable was not applied to them. They are misleading so any 'bounce' they implied for any party should be discounted.

If all this is true, and these are extremely reliable polls, then they do indeed make gloomy reading for a Labour Party that surely must need very little further persuasion that it's time for a change at the top - as a matter of some considerable urgency now.

I do hope they remain spineless and chaotic, rather than miraculously discover some bottle and take the necessary steps to remove their biggest polling, and electoral, liability.

I think you - and they - know who I mean.


Two more reliable polls this evening paint the same grim picture for Labour - and for Brown - with both pointing to a solid 17% lead for the Tories. I'll leave it to Professor Smithson to explain the implications - and deliver the interesting news that there's a new pollster in town.

CON 44 (-1) LAB 27 (+1) LD 18 (nc)

A second pollster adds to Labour’s gloom

The second of tonight’s three polls, ICM’s for the Guardian, is out and shows very little change on the last survey from the firm taken in the immediate aftermath of the Tory conference and David Cameron’s speech.

A lot of people assumed that the last figures were down to the conference effect and that once we “got back to normal” then the scale of the blue lead would reduce substantially.

This view was accentuated by the Populus, Comres and YouGov surveys which all seemed to be pointing to a narrowing of the margin.

Well today’s two polls haven’t and this and now we await the third - the first regular monthly survey by the leading Canadian firm, Angus Reid Strategies exclusively for Politicalbetting, which is working with us as part of its effort to introduce a second substantial online pollster to the UK market. This is due out later tonight.

The ICM numbers coming on top of the MORI will be a severe disappointment to Labour which much have been hoping that things had started to turn. Seventeen point deficits only a few months before the election point to a rout

40% 23% 20%

A third pollster reports a 17 point Labour deficit

Tonight sees the launch of the exclusive new monthly poll by the leading Canadian firm, Angus Reid Strategies for Politicalbetting.com - and the timing could nor be more apt.

The main party figures are above.

The “others” are UKIP 5%: GRN 3%: BNP 3%: SNP 3%: PC 1%.

Extraordinarily the findings, like the ones from Ipsos-MORI and ICM earlier tonight show exactly the same Labour deficit - seventeen points.

Like YouGov polling is carried out online from a polling panel but unlike YouGov the sample is past voted weighted to what those questioned said they they did at the last election. YouGov weights by party ID.

The voting intention question has been designed to get respondents to focus more on what they will actually be doing in their particular seats in the hope of picking up any tactical intent. It reads “If a General Election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you be most likely to support in your constituency?”

Angus Reid Strategies is applying for membership of the British Polling Council and is following its transparency requirements immediately. I am hoping to get a link up tonight so that the detailed tables can be down-loaded.

The sample size was 2.077 which is in line with most YouGov polls but is about double that which we see from the telephone pollsters.

  • Finally can I thank Andy Morris and his team at the firm. It’s been great working with them and I’m looking forward to our regular monthly poll as well as surveys of the key marginals.
  • Never has it been possible to say with more confidence that the polls don't lie. So the question, with three in a row now predicting catastrophe for Labour under Brown, still stands: what are they going to do about it.

    The most likely answer is, of course, nothing.

    Hat tip to Uncle Bob.


    1. The ICM numbers don't paint a pretty picture for Labour either. Maybe the plotters will develop a backbone between them and plunge the dagger between Macavity's clammy shoulderblades.

    2. Cheers for the heads up.

      And yes, the knife wielding reds scenario would be rather cool.


    Any thoughts?