Tories up in spite of Flight sacking row
In the first national poll to be carried since the sacking of the Arundel MP, Howard Flight, there been a big improvement in the relative position of the Conservatives. The survey, by Communicate Research for tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday shows a significant drop in the Labour lead compared with last week’s survey that had Tony Blair’s party doing substantially better than at the 2001 General Election.
The figures are with changes on last week: LAB 40 (-3): CON 34 (+3): LD 16 (-1)
There will be concern at Labour’s HQ about the “amongst those certain to vote” figures where the split is LAB 39: CON 39: LD 12. This will be especially so as there were real hopes that Howard Flight’s comments about tax cuts and the way that Michael Howard dealt with him had seriously undermined the Tory resurgance. Only last Sunday the IoS itself was talking of a “Tory meltdown“.
The question is whether other polls will follow suit. CR seemed to be an oddity last week – will it be this week?
We have commented before about CR’s methodology which we does not involve prompting for party choice – a methodology which in the past has been shown to understate Lib Dem support. In their comment on the poll the paper notes the possibility of “random sampling variation” – an element that could have been reduced by CR weighting their sample by what those surveyed said they did at the last election. All the other phone pollsters do this.
The “certain to vote” figure is very much in line with the last Mori poll and the British Election Study report the week before last which was showing a Tory lead.
Other polls should be coming out in the next couple of days and it will be interesting to see if the trend of the CR poll is reinforced by other figures.