Guardian leader: “Get used to it: the Tories are back”
The monthly ICM poll in the Guardian confirms the trend of recent other surveys and has Cameron’s Conservatives still ahead but doing even better against Gordon Brown.
The shares compared with the last ICM poll nine days ago are CON 37 (nc): LAB 36 (+1): LD 21 (nc). But to the question of how people would vote if it was Cameron’s Tories against Brown’s Labour the split is CON 41 (+1): LAB 36 (-1): LD 18 (nc).
So yet another poll has Gordon Brown doing much worse against the Tories than his party and will surely impact on the betting for next Labour leader.
Gamblers usually respect the Guardian ICM poll more than any of the four regular surveys that come out each month and it usually has an impact on the markets. In summary the pollster puts the Tories 4% up this month against Blair’s Labour leadership, 8% up against Brown’s, with the Lib Dems down 2% and 5% respectively.
Another betting market that might be affected is the one on when Blair will eventually go. There are many different options but a good barometer is the one that he will still be there on New Year’s Day 2008. The latest price is 2.3/1. In our view the poorer that Brown does in the polls the greater the chance that Blair will remain.
For the message from this poll for Labour is clear – replacing Tony with Gordon makes the party’s prospects even worse.
Overall the poll found that 66% of voters see David Cameron as a “potential Prime Minister”. Even 51% of Labour voters and 63% of Lib Dem ones regard the new Tory leader in this light. Of those saying they would vote Lib Dem in the survey 46% said that “Cameron was someone they could vote for”. Apart from this the Lib Dems will be quite pleased with their latest ICM figures. Still being on 21% in spite of all the negative publicity over their leadership must be a lot of consolation and might reinforce Charles Kennedy’s position.
In a leader under the heading “Get used to it: the Tories are back” the Guardian notes:- “The message is hard to miss. A lot of voters like what they see. The sceptics should get real about Mr Cameron…. the message is a sombre one for anyone who thinks that Mr Brown offers an instant boost to Labour’s chances compared with Mr Blair. The evidence of this poll is that at present he does not. It is Mr Blair’s presence that keeps Labour in contention..”