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With Dave outclassing Ed in the ratings and the economy getting better how come CON’s behind in the polls?

July 31st, 2014

Why are the Tories not in the lead?

One of the ongoing mysteries is why CON continue to lag behind LAB in the voting intention polls. The economy is recovering and this is now being seen by voters. On top of that the Tories retain a solid lead over LAB as best party on the economy.

We also have the Ed Miliband factor who continues to get poor ratings. Surely this should all be being reflected in the voting intention polls? The Tories should be ahead.

    The general theory is that leaders and the economy are “lagging indicators” which will only impact on voting at a very late stage. Maybe. Maybe not.

The big factor that makes GE2015 so uncertain is that we don’t have the conventional battlegrounds. LAB has hardly taken any voters from CON and there’s been little movement in the other direction. EdM’s party is relying a lot on 2010 LDs voters which it must retain. The Tories main battle is in trying protect itself against the UKIP surge.

On top of that we’ve got more polling than ever we’ve had before with so many different aspects that we can examine. Thus for last week’s Lord Ashcroft 14 seat CON-LAB battlegrounds polling more people were interviewed by phone than ICM do in a year for their Guardian series. This produces sub-set sample sizes, like for UKIP switchers or 2010 LDs, that are meaningful.

We also have the YouGov daily poll as well as the twice-weekly Populus polling which provides a mass of extra data to analyse.

So what’s going to happen? The one thing I find it hard to see happening is a CON majority. All other outcomes are possible.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble