Slightly better news for Michael Howard
After the NOP and ICM polls showing Labour leads of 8-9% this month’s YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph has the margin dropping to just 3%. The figures are:-
LAB 35% (-1): CON 32% (n/c): LD 23% (+1): UKIP 5% (n/c)
Compared with the YouGov poll at the start of October the Labour lead has been halved. Today’s poll is also good news for the Lib Dems with it returning to its highest share of the year from the pollster.
YouGov’s methodology tends to produce a more stable share for Labour than the other pollsters and during the whole of 2004 has not moved out of the 34-36% range. Today’s figure is not even at the top of that range. When tested against real results the pollster has proved to be more accurate with the Tory-Labour share than other pollsters although it still over-stated Labour and understated the Tories.
The move reinforces what we’ve been saying about when in the the month to bet on the General Election. Those polls that report at the turn of the month – YouGov and Populus – generally show smaller Labour shares than those that come out mid-month.
If you want to bet on Labour or against the Tories do it after the markets have digested the latest information. If you want to bet against Labour or for the Tories do it after ICM.
Today’s poll shows the impact that UKIP continues to have on the Tories and this is where, we believe the election will be decided. If UKIP remains at 4-5% then the Tories will continue to struggle and Labour will win a substantial majority.
If Michael Howard and his Austrailian Campaign Director, Lynton Crosby, can find a way of dealing with the UKIP issue then the outcome will be much closer. They might take some comfort in the fact that YouGov, when tested, does over-state UKIP significantly.
Full round-up of General Election and other political bets – click here.