Massive ICM blow for Cameron and the Tories

Massive ICM blow for Cameron and the Tories

guardian 0907 ICM poll.jpg

    Does this make an October election a possibility again?

It’s 3am as I write and my first action before starting this piece was to open up my Spreadfair account and buy Labour at the 310 seat level on the general election spread market. The latest Guardian ICM poll is out and shows Labour with their biggest lead from the pollster since September 2005 three months before David Cameron became leader.

These are the shares with changes on the last ICM poll in the final week in August – CON 32%(-2): LAB 40% (+1): LD 20% (+2). The fieldwork took place between Friday and Sunday so covered quite a lot of the Northern Rock crisis.

The ICM polling series in the paper is by several decades the longest in UK politics and for me it remains the most important one each month. It is the survey that is most likely to influence betting markets – hence my actions this morning. The paper usually runs its poll very big as seen above from its front page.

    There’ll be huge disappointment within Cameron’s team that Northern Rock does not seem to have impeded Labour in anyway whatsoever. This is serious.

The Lib Dem total will provide particular cheer for the party particularly as it comes bang in the middle of their annual conference. This will help Ming enormously and take a lot of the pressure off. The ICM methodology usually gives the party a bigger figure than the other firms

There are some leadership ratings which will add to David Cameron’s woes.

There’s another poll out from Populus in the Times but, alas, there is very little detail available. It was taken on Monday night and shows that only 20 per cent hold the government responsible for the Northern Rock crisis.

As to the general election timing these developments might well have an impact. I’m not convinced that Brown would take the risk but going for an election when all the polls are moving in his direction must be very tempting. Accordingly I’ve sold “Gordon weeks” on the spread market taking all that was on offer at the 86 week level. This is based on how long it will be between Brown’s succession on June 27th and election day. The 86 week level takes it into March 2009.

Mike Smithson

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