Populus puts the Tories EIGHT points ahead

Populus puts the Tories EIGHT points ahead

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    Bad news for Blair – even worse for Brown

As predicted here first thing this morning the May Populus survey for tomorrow’s Times has some pretty sensational figures showing one of the biggest turnarounds ever from a pollster that weights samples by declared past vote.

The figures are with changes on April: CON 38 (+4): LAB 30 (-6): LD 20(-1). This is the biggest Tory lead ever recorded by the pollster.

    What is spectacular about this survey is that it is from a pollster which gives Labour a heavy recalled vote weighting. Last May Blair’s party was 3% ahead – Populus in their calculations have been operating on a 9% gap to deal with “misremembering”.

Assuming there has been no change over the past month if the same data had been processed using ICM’s weightings then the Tory lead might have hit 10%.

Information about the poll is only just coming out but it’s reported that when the question was put about how people would vote if Gordon Brown was leader then the Tories would be on 41%.

Coming so soon after the local election successes there’s likely to be a big move to the Tories in the General Election betting.

A word of caution. In my piece this morning predicting a big shock from Populus I noted “The interviews will have been taking place over the weekend while all the speculation and talk of a Labour civil war was dominating the air waves. Often surveys that take place in such a heated atmosphere produce extraordinary results..”

I have emailed Andrew Cooper of Populus to ask if there has been a change in methodology. I’ll publish his reply as soon as he responds.

Mike Smithson

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