Tory lead up to 11% with Communicate Research
Reproduced above is a snap-shot of the top of the page when you put the latest poll numbers into Martin Baxter’s seat calculator on his excellent Political Calculus site which many MPs in marginal seats are said to be visiting a lot at the moment.
For the February poll in the Independent from Communicate Research reports a big swing to the Tories. These are the figures compared with the January survey CON 40% (+6): LAB 29% (nc): LD 17% (-4).
Unlike the other phone pollsters the firm does not seek to ensure a politically balanced sample by asking how people voted last time and then weighting accordingly and this has in recent months has had CR showing the least favourable Tory figures. This is why today’s survey is such a shock.
Overall in the survey CR found many more respondents who answered “Labour” to the question “Generally speaking do you consider yourself….?“. What’s behind the latest move is a sharp reduction in the proportion of declared Labour voters saying they would be certain to vote.
The detail shows only 45% of the Labour group saying they would be absolutely certain, compared with 65% for the Tories and 53% for the Lib Dems.
The political question is whether the continued bad polling news for Labour will have an impact on the leadership. Will it cause further pressure on Blair to go early and will it help or hinder Gordon Brown?
I have long been of the view that the only thing that can stop the Chancellor’s succession is very poor polling news for his party and him personally. This latest survey will only add to the jitters and might cause more questions over whether Brown is the man to lead the fight back against Cameron.
The Gordon price in the Labour leadership betting is 0.27/1.