ICM – Blow for Brown as Labour get to within 2%

ICM – Blow for Brown as Labour get to within 2%

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    Labour deficit moves to 8% when Gordon’s name is mentioned

The first full opinion poll since the Brown “victory” in the Labour contest became certain shows some heartening news for the party. For the top-line figures to the hypothetical question of what people would do if there was a general election tomorrow have, with changes on last month CON 34% (-3): LAB 32% (+2): LD 21% (nc)

But the Guardian tomorrow will report that the Tories have an 8% lead when the names of the three party leaders are mentioned. That split is CON 38%: LAB 30%: LD 20%.

Quite what we make of this differential is hard to assess but Julian Glover notes: “Analysis shows that almost all Conservative supporters stick with their party when they are reminded that Mr Cameron is leading it, but 15% of current Labour supporters fail to stick with the party when Mr Brown is named as leader. Among Lib Dems, 21% move away when Sir Menzies is mentioned.”

The poll was carried out over the weekend following massive coverage of Labour when the Tories and the Lib Dems were hardly getting a mention. Since then there has been the Tory education row.

    All this reinforces the IPSOS-Mori findings this week that Cameron’s biggest problem is his party while Labour main challenge is the apparent unpopularity of its next leader. How will all this shake out in an election – who knows?

I’ve long taken the view that we need to wait until after the party conference season before we can assess the full impact of Labour’s changes.

Mike Smithson

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