Punters stick by Labour in spite of new polls

Punters stick by Labour in spite of new polls

    Populus and YouGov fail to shift the markets

The trend against Labour shown in yesterday’s Populus Poll is reinforced this morning in a new YouGov poll for this morning’s Daily Telegraph. The Betfair betting exchange price, meanwhile, has seen the Labour price tighten and the Tory price ease.

The shares with comparisons on the last YouGov poll are CON 37%(+2): LAB 31%(-1): LD 17% (-1). YouGov is still reporting a high share – 6% – for the BNP. Although other pollsters have picked up increasing support for this party only YouGov has recorded them having support at these levels.

    So while the overall movement in this poll is nothing like as dramatic as Populus the broad picture is very much the same – Labour are now behind by a substantial margin.

The YouGov Lib Dem figure is in line with previous polls from the pollster and reflects the way that its weightings operate which I think understates support for Ming Campbell’s party.

While the satisfaction/dissatisfaction rating for Blair is now at 26-66 the Prime Minister continues to enjoy strong backing from Labour supporters. To the same question this group divided 77-18. When asked whether recent events had increased/decreased their respect for Tony Blair 12% of Labour voters said it had while 20% said it hadn’t.

David Cameron, meanwhile, sees his personal support grow. Those surveyed in March divided 38-24 on whether he was proving to be a good leader. This morning those figures are 43-23.

On the Betfair betting exchange the Tory price on winning most seats has eased to 1.06/1 while Labour is now at 0.97/1. The conventional bookies make Cameron’s party the favourite while the exchanges appear unmoved by recent events.

My view is that the exchange punters have got this one right. Opinion polls taken at times like this do not always give a good measure and you need to wait and see a few surveys over a number of weeks before drawing firm conclusions. I’m certainly not backing Labour – but I’m not backing the Tories either.

Mike Smithson

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