Tories take 2 point YouGov lead

Tories take 2 point YouGov lead

    Kennedy’s personal ratings reach rock-bottom

The latest Daily Telegraph YouGov poll, a little earlier this month because of Christmas, confirms the trend of recent surveys and gives wmCameron’s Conservatives a 2 point lead over Labour with the LibDems at 18%. The vote shares with changes on the survey last weekend are CON 38%(+1): LAB 36%(nc): LD 18%(nc).

    This is the best YouGov performance for the Tories since May 2004 when the internet pollster had Michael Howard’s party on 40%.

For before Tory supporters get too buoyant they might note that in the similar Telegraph YouGov poll after Michael Howard became leader in 2003 the party was on 39% and it remained on 39 or 40 for the following five months. The main difference between now and then is that two years ago YouGov was very much out of line with the other pollsters. This time the trend seems to be the same with all the firms.

Since September the Tory YouGov share has gone up six points with Labour dropping four and the Lib Dems dropping two. A key indicator now could be the December Guardian ICM survey which is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the run-up to the Tory leadership election we said constantly that we would need to wait until February at the earliest before drawing conclusions about major trends. We stick with that.

There’s bad news for Charles Kennedy – a big decline in his personal ratings. These are the shares to the question “Who would make the best Prime Minister” compared with a similar question in May. Blair 30(-7): Cameron 30 (+5 on Howard’s rating): Kennedy 11 (-8).

The latest General Election Commons seat spreads from Cantor Spreadfair are LAB 296-305: CON 258.6-267: LD 57-59.

A NOTE ON POPULUS. The main vote share figures in the Populus poll on Tuesday had Labour three points ahead. The head of the firm, Andrew Cooper, has confirmed to me that if they had used the same past vote weighting figures as ICM then the margin would have been down to 1%. We note that our speculation last week about Populus and the Times was wrong.

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Mike Smithson

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