Tory YouGov lead down to 4%

Tory YouGov lead down to 4%

    But it’s 45-32 on the Cameron-Brown forced choice

big ben th thin.JPGThis month’s YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph shows very little movement on a month ago. These are the shares – CON 37% (nc): LAB 33% (+1): LD 17% (+1). So the overall Tory lead is down a point with Labour and the Lib Dems both putting on a point.

But the named leader measure that YouGov uses – a forced choice asking “would you prefer to see after the next election, a Conservative Government led by Cameron or a Labour Government led by Brown” – shows a widening gap. These are the responses to that question for the past year:-

NOV 2005 CON 37: LAB 46 (LAB +9)
FEB 2006 CON 37: LAB 43 (LAB +6)
JUN 2006 CON 44: LAB 38 (CON +6)
AUG 2006 CON 43: LAB 36 (CON +7)
OCT 2006 CON 46: LAB 33 (CON +13)
NOV 2006 CON 43: LAB 34 (CON +9)
DEC 2006 CON 45: LAB 32 (CON +13)

So on this measure there has been a fall back in the Brown recovery that we saw in November. This question, of course, is forced and is not about voting intention but the huge falling off in support for a Labour Government under Brown in barely ten months should be worrying for the party. The Chancellor needs better numbers when questions like this are asked.

But there’s is a glimmer of good news for Gordon in another question – when asked, however, who would make “the best PM” respondents in the survey went Cameron 28%: Brown 27%: Campbell 6%..

So people are ready to rate Brown almost alongside Cameron when asked “who is best” but much prefer the younger man when pressed on what sort of Government they would like.

Will there be a Brown bounce when he eventually takes over – and in what direction will it go? If these and other poll findings are right then the best thing that can happen to Cameron’s Conservatives is for the Chancellor to take over from Blair. All hypothetical of course – but Brown needs better numbers to ease the jitters in his party.

UPDATE – New Mori Poll
The Ipsos-Mori poll for December is now up on the firm’s website and shows, with changes on last month CON 37 (+2): LAB 36 (+3): LD 18 (-2).

These are based on people saying they are “100% certain to vote” and Mori, as we have discussed at length here before, does not weight by past vote recall in order to ensure a politically balanced sample.

The voting figures are based on the responses of 1,075 “100% certains”. The non-voting question have Gordon Brown with a 42-42 satisfied-dissatisfied rating and Cameron with 28-33. It is not clear from the site what the base is for the non-voting questions.

Mori do not ask a named-leader voting intention question or a forced choice like in the YouGov poll.

As ever because of its sampling methodology I do not attach as much importance to Mori as ICM, Populus or YouGov.

Mike Smithson

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