Are the Tories about to lose their poll lead?

Are the Tories about to lose their poll lead?


    Will Cameron’s absence and Reid’s profile turn the position round?

During the past four months there have been twenty one consecutive voting intention polls from five different pollsters all showing a Tory lead – the party’s best polling performance for a decade and a half. The margins have been between two and ten points and the highest Labour share has been 35.

But is this all about to change? Could one or two of the next scheduled polls have Labour returning to the top which would set the scene nicely for them ahead of the September conference season?

    There are three reasons why this might happen:: Labour appears to be handling the terror plot in a competent manner, the Tories have been totally out of the lime-light in August and there’s been a sharp drop in David Cameron’s net position in the latest YouGov BrandIndex figures which have just been released to PBC.

The latest YouGov data which is based on a five day rolling average with 600 different people being being questioned each day had the following net figures for David Cameron to the question of whether they thought he was doing a good or bad job:

July 28 +15, Aug 3 +14, Aug 7 +13, Aug 8 +10, Aug 9 +9, Aug 10 +7

I put this down to him not being about and hardly on our TV screens. Cameron’s ratings increase when he’s getting lots of media coverage and decrease when he isn’t. Whatever the hardliners think at Conservativehome Cameron’s standing is very much linked to his party as a whole and I believe that today’s data indicates that the Tories could take a big hit in the end of August opinion polls.

    For Tony Blair it seems to works in the opposite direction. The less we see of him the more positively he is viewed.

Since he went off to his vacation in the Barbados there’s been a small improvement in his YoUGov BrandIndex ratings.

July 28 -39, Aug 3 -36, Aug 7 -33, Aug 8 -33, Aug 9 -32, Aug 10 -32

For Gordon Brown who has been out of the lime-light on paternity leave there has been hardly any change.

July 28 -3, Aug 3 -2, Aug 7 0, Aug 8 0, Aug 9 -1, Aug 10 -2

The Lib Dem leader, Ming Campbell, has also had a quiet week with his ratings staying fairly stable.

July 28 -21, Aug 3 -24, Aug 7 -22, Aug 8 -22, Aug 9 -23, Aug 10 -23

So what about John Reid who should benefit from his high profile and apparently competent handling of the terror plot case. YouGov do ask the question but I am told that it is too early to see any change. The arrests only happened on Thursday and the data is based on a five day rolling average. Hopefully the pollster will be able to issue information next week.

If nothing untoward happens then Reid and Labour should move forward. For General Election gamblers those thinking of backing Labour might be advised to do so now.

Mike Smithson

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