YouGov: “Labour’s deficit 4% bigger with Brown”

YouGov: “Labour’s deficit 4% bigger with Brown”

    Will the Chancellor be bringing on Deborah again?

There are two news polls in the papers this morning both of which were carried out by the internet pollster YouGov and both of which give fairly similar main voting shares. Only one of them, however, appears under the YouGov name.

The main headline figures in the Sunday Times with changes on the last YouGov survey show CON 38% (+1): LAB 32% (nc): LD 16% (-1). I cannot find a figure for Ming’s party in the online report.

The other poll, by BPIX in the Mail on Sunday shows CON 38%: LAB 31%: LD 14%. My understanding is that the fieldwork for this pollster is carried out by YouGov. BPIX is not listed as a member of the British Polling Council and so does not have to follow the agreed transparency rules.

The Sunday Times survey also asked the named leader voting question – something that YouGov has not done since March 2006. This question is testing how people would vote with Brown and Cameron named as leaders. The outcome will not please Brown’s supporters for it showed CON 41%: LAB 31%: LD 13%

This is in line with the recent Populus and ICM polls which both reported jumps in the Tory position when this question was asked.

    This extra polling deficit for Brown, which has been shown in all but two surveys where this was asked in the past 16 months, must infuriate the Chancellor’s camp and often leads to his Smith Institute colleague and Labour pollster, Deborah Mattinson, being rolled out to rubbish the findings.

Will Brown be perceived differently when he is actually in the job and all the focus will be on the changes he is bringing in? Maybe – maybe not. But as I have said repeatedly these sorts of figures will make the party feel that less comfortable about the succession.

For the Cameron gang these latest polls will provide relief that their air tax proposals, though not welcomed by voters, do not seem to have done their party any harm. They reinforce my oft-repeated view that the more their leader is in the public eye the better the Tory ratings get – something that will further frustrate Cameron’s opponents within the party and the media.

In the Labour leadership betting the Brown price has tightened to 0.24/1.

Mike Smithson

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