Will Labour’s Chameleon stalker bring the women back?

Will Labour’s Chameleon stalker bring the women back?

chameleon pic.jpg

    ICM’s data shows Tories leading by 11 points amongst females

On the day Labour launched the next stage of its plan to deal with David Cameron ICM released full data from its June poll showing a big gender divide in support for the parties.

Delegates arriving to hear the Tory leader’s “family friendly” speech yesterday were greeted at the door by a man dressed up as a Chameleon handing out leaflets. According to the Times “..the costume is terrific and must have cost a fortune. We are talking thousands here. I thought Labour was broke. Apparently not. Anyway, the money has been wasted, for the main problem with the lizard is that it is too cute to become a hate figure. Soon people will be wanting its autograph.”

Clearly this was a follow-on from the party’s local election TV broadcasts in April when the first “Dave the Chameleon” campaign was made public.

The ICM poll detail, meanwhile, shows a female vote share split of CON 42: LAB 31: LD 21 and follows the recent YouGov data which recorded a 15% Tory lead amongst women.

    It is hard to see how the man in the rubber suit stunt will win back the women voters who seem to be leading the move from Labour.

When the “Dave the Chameleon” campaign was launched in April I questioned the strategy because it linked David Cameron with his party. All the polling evidence then showed that if you asked a voting intention question mentioning Cameron’s name as well as the party then the Tories got an uplift of 1-5%.

In fact this effect has now got bigger. The last time such a question was put the uplift in the Tory margin was 7%. Thus neither Labour nor the Lib Dems should do anything that links Cameron and Conservative. They should just ignore him.

Every single poll since the Chameleon campaign was launched has shown a Labour deficit. Before that the signs were that the Tory surge had faltered. But, of course, there have been many events since late April which have affected how people say they will vote so the it’s not possible to make the point that what I was saying then.

But it did appear that the “Chameleon” had been dead and buried with the local election disaster. Labour has enjoyed poll leads for so many years that it does not appear to be equipped to handle deficits. The return yesterday with the man in the rubber suit smacks, surely, of desperation.

Mike Smithson

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