Will Labour polling dampen the election speculation?

Will Labour polling dampen the election speculation?

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    Marginals said to be “patchy and extremely tight”

We are going to have to wait until this evening before we see the first post-Blackpool opinion poll and that should be from the YouGov panel on this evening’s Channel 4 News. But according to Steve Richards in the Independent the prospect of an early election has receded following the Tory conference and reaction to Cameron’s speech.

He notes that Brown’s “inner circle is understood to have become more cautious about an election after studying Labour’s private polling in key marginal seats which is described as “patchy and extremely tight”.

He goes on; “…Labour strategists believe their lead in the polls is likely to be dented by the Tories’ pledge to raise the threshold for inheritance tax to £1m. If Mr Brown pulls back from an election, he will be accused of running scared by the Tories after allowing speculation to mount and making contingency plans to announce, next week, a poll for 1 November. A three-year spending programme and pre-Budget report may still be presented on Monday, nine days earlier than planned, even if the election is off…Some Brown allies argue that it would be better to suffer a short-term embarrassment than rush into an election after just 100 days as Prime Minister without being sure of winning a firm mandate. They are confident the Tories’ tax and spending plans will unravel, but say it would be better to “demolish” them over months rather than weeks.”

Meanwhile there’s more cause for Labour caution from the detail of last Saturday’s Populus poll that had Labour with a whopping 10% margin over the Conservatives. As Mark Senior noted in the overnight thread “…As always they are illuminating as to where the Labour lead came from . Comparing the vote in 2005 to voting intention now LibDems lose 12 voters to Labour and 6 to Conservative but gain 10 and 5 respectively . Labour lose 13 to Conservatives but gain only 5 in return . The Labour lead is entirely due to those who did not vote in 2005 where they lead Conservatives by 109 to 39 , a massive margin.”

So in the best poll by far for Labour from the firm since Cameron’s election the Tories are still winning more 2005 Labour voters than they are losing. What will these figures be like in the latest survey from the firm – due out at on Saturday?

Politicalbetting has record day. Meanwhile figures for site traffic show that yesterday was the busiest ever with 85,520 page downloads. This beats by 2,000 the totals on May 4th this year after the local, Scottish and Welsh elections.

Mike Smithson

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