Why is it that the lead amongst 2005 voters is only about 3%?
One of the great new polling sources that we have now that we didn’t have last time is a breakdown, segment by segment, of people’s current intentions based on what they did at the last election.
This approach was pioneered by ICM just twelve months ago and now all the telephone pollsters present their detailed data in this way. This gives poll-watchers a whole range of new trends to track such as whether those who said they voted in 2005 are thinking differently from those who didn’t.
This enabled us earlier in the year to observe that the big move to Cameron’s Tories was by people who, for whatever reason, did not vote in 2005.
Now the polls are showing that much of the big lurch to Labour since June has come from the non-2005 voting group – so much so that the lead amongst those who actually voted in 2005 is only about 3%.
In fact in almost every single Populus and ICM survey where this data is available the Tories are doing better at retaining their 2005 support than Labour.
This could be worrying for Labour planners because, surely, those with a track record of voting at previous elections are more likely to do so at the next one.
Maybe the expected weekend polls will show something different but this trend could be a little worrying.