Five Gordons from YouGov

Five Gordons from YouGov

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    Sunday Times poll gives Lab 39, Con 34, LD 15

There’s a YouGov poll in the Sunday Times today showing Labour with a 5-point lead over the Conservatives. Brown leads Cameron and Campbell 39/17/4 on the “most impressive” leader question, while the good job/bad job splits are 62/22 for Gordon, 35/50 for Dave, and 24/45 for Ming – an impressive +40 for the Prime Minister – how long will such scores last?

If there are another couple of polls giving Labour a lead of 5-6 points, might this rekindle a glimmer of hope in Downing Street that an autumn election might still be called? I would have thought though that the Northern Rock crisis and general economic uneasiness would probably rule it out, although others may think differently.

There’s more bad news for the Lib Dem leader with the news that supporters of the party believe overwhelmingly, by 63% to 5%, that a change to a younger leader would help the Lib Dems. More analysis of the Sunday Times poll on Anthony Wells’ site here. Despite the disappointing poll news, Ming insists to the Observer that he will lead his party into the next election and beyond, and Andrew Rawnsley explains why the Lib Dems won’t be ditching their embattled leader.

Elsewhere, Alan Greenspan not only attacks Bush’s economic competence but declares that the prime motive in the Iraq war was oil, while there’s also the news that al-Qaeda in Iraq have offered a reward for the murder of a Swedish cartoonist – are we in for a repeat of the Danish cartoon row or indeed worse?

  • One country that is having a snap election is Greece, which goes to the polls today. (The background article I wrote on Greece is here.) Voting hours are 7am to 7pm (so polls close at 5pm UK time), and while voting is technically compulsory, the English-language paper Kathimerini explains that “Greeks are obligated by law to vote, but government officials have admitted that penalties are no longer imposed”.
  • New Democracy look set to win – by law there were no polls published in the last two weeks but my “gut feel” is that ND may win by 2-3% of the popular vote, and the ND’s Karamanlis is a prohibitive 1.18 on Betfair (2/11) to be the next PM while PASOK’s Papandreou is available at 8.2 (just over 7/1). The handicap market may offer more value, where I have backed ND (-1.75%) to win, currently trading at 1.63. There seems to be the possibility of a hung parliament due to the disenchantment with the big two parties, even allowing for the fact that the winning party will get a 40-seat bonus in this election held under PR.

    I’m hoping to run an Election Night Special on pb as the results come in. There will probably be exit polls at 5pm, and because Greece counts at polling stations and reports upwards (unlike the UK & Ireland but like most of Europe and the Americas), it should not be too long a night. My understanding is that by 8.30pm UK time a projection of the final result should be available. The excellent official results site from the Interior Ministry (in English!) is here and the Greek News Agenda newsletter is here.

    Guest Editor’s Note:

    As you all know, Mike will be back in charge of the site tomorrow, but I hope I’ve managed to keep pb ticking over satisfactorily in his absence. I know that one or two people have expressed their dissatisfaction with my efforts, but I think that’s part of the price to be paid for being “visible”, and I’d like to thank those who have been vocal in their support over the last two weeks. Apart from one thread which went seriously off the rails, with Ukpaul fighting a valiant rearguard action, and a couple of personal spats, the site seems to have been reasonably well behaved, which is much appreciated, and there were some excellent and very informative posts (including PtP’s very profitable Doncaster tips!).

    A few thanks:

  • to Mike for once again letting me “mind the shop” in his absence – the proper early morning threads (ie well before 8am!) will be back tomorrow;
  • to Robert for his extremely rapid response when the site was briefly down;
  • and to everyone who provided a guest article, which made things a lot easier – Harry Hayfield’s UK seats 4-parter, the timely mortgages article by Ray Boulger, PtP’s Value article, Alexander Drake’s look at the Australian battleground, and of course Sean Fear, whose Friday articles are now rightly a pb institution.

    A final plug for the Election Game – click on the logo below for more information – the next game, with Greece currently “in-play”, will be for Switzerland/Argentina in October, which probably falls into the “arthouse” category, followed by Australia which is definitely a “blockbuster”. Alternately click below if you just want to email me.

    This is a great website – and despite the occasional niggle between posters – one that we should be proud of and is a key part of the political scene.

    Cheers & all the best, and “Epharisto” as they say in Greece – for those of you following the election I’ll be around later today with the results special.

    Paul Maggs “Double Carpet”

    Guest Editor

    Mike Smithson returns tomorrow

    Paul Maggs runs The Election Game – click on the logo to email for more information.


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