Labour’s lead moves from 8% to 6%
The main driver of the week’s heightened speculation that Brown would chance everything on an October election was the Guardian’s ICM poll on Wednesday showing the Labour lead moving up three points to 8%. Today a new poll from the same pollster in the Sunday Mirror has that down to 6% which while not very significant in itself could affect the mood and particularly the sentiment on the betting markets.
As I reported here overnight on Tuesday my immediate reaction on seeing the Guardian poll was to buy Labour seats on the spread markets – a position I subsequently added to. My thought on seeing the latest news was to get out of part of that pocketing a few hundred pounds in the process. I got in at 310 seats and sold at 317. Profits are always nice!
The vote intention party shares are with changes on the Guardian poll – CON 33%(+1): LAB 39%(-1): LD 19%(-1).
One factor about the previous survey was that the fieldwork did not cover the period when the Northern Rock crisis was at its height. This one did and reinforces the view that this has not harmed Brown.
The Lib Dems will probably be a touch disappointed that the success of their Brighton conference, particularly the reaction to Ming’s speech, has not been reflected in these numbers. The ICM approach to polling usually gives the party the biggest shares. The 19% is good base on which to build during a general election campaign.
We’ll need to see the detailed data of course but my guess is that the driving force in all the figures is not so much switching between the parties but how likely it is that respondents say they will vote.
I remain unconvinced by the 2007 general election argument but not enough to risk any money on it.