Tory ICM lead increases by 3% in spite of grammar row

Tory ICM lead increases by 3% in spite of grammar row


    Is the Cameron bike back on the road?

Two threads this morning with the publication of two key polls – one from ICM on national voting intention and a YouGov survey of Labour and TU members ahead of the deputy leadership election.

After a period of solid good media coverage for Labour and two weeks of public infighting amongst the Tories over the grammar school row the ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph this morning shows a huge boost for the Tory leadership.

These are the figures with changes on the last ICM survey published eleven days ago CON 37% (+3): LAB 32% (nc): LD 21% (nc)

This is a great turnaround for the Tories who must have been worried that Labour with its leadership changes was starting to develop some traction coming at the same time as the highly publicised schools row. For Labour this poll is very bad news – surely at a time like this the party ought to have been making progress?

    The worrying feature for the Tories is the way that the Sunday Telegraph chooses to report it. Rather than focus on the significant change in the voting intention figures the paper chooses to splash the most negative answer to a Brown – Cameron comparison – that the Tory leader is seen as being weaker.

Clearly the paper has an agenda. These non-voting intention responses include the views of many who told ICM that they had no or little intention of voting in a general election. So the paper’s front page headline “Cameron weaker than Brown say voters” is not accurate. It ought to have said “….voters and non-voters but we do not know in what proportions”.

The Lib Dems will take a lot of heart from the fact that their ICM share is holding up.

The voting intention changes reinforce that theory which I have put here many times that the Tories do well in the polls when they and its leader are making the headlines – good or bad. Also I think that traditional Tories over-state the popularity of a policy of increasing grammar schools and the number of secondary moderns – the latter being something they never seem to put an emphasis on.

It will be interesting to compare this poll with the June Populus survey for the Times which is due out on Tuesday.

Mike Smithson

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