Can the Tories stay above 40%?

Can the Tories stay above 40%?

cameron speech long shot.JPG

    Who’ll be up and who’ll be down in the next polling round?

In the first 13 days of October polls there were nine separate national polls showing general election voting intentions. In the second 13 days it looks as if we will have had none and the signs are that there won’t be anything until the weekend at the earliest.

Part of the problem is that many newspapers spent up their polling budgets in that intense period as all the focus was on whether Gord would call his election and the public response when he didn’t.

So we’ve actually got no real sense at the moment about whether the Tory resurgence is being sustained; what’s the impact of Ming’s departure and the Lib Dem leadership contest and if there’s been a reversal in Labour’s polling fortunes after the sharp about-turns.

This should all be clearer by this time next week when we should have had the Guardian October ICM survey, ComRes for the Independent and possibly another set of data from the YouGov panel and the main face-to-face survey by Ipsos-Mori for the month.

For me the big question is whether the Tories will be recording a share in excess of the 40% reported by Ipsos-Mori, ICM, YouGov and the non-British Polling Council registered BPIX. It was quite easy to see how Cameron’s party broke through that barrier in the frenzied political atmosphere in the first part of the month. Will that still be there especially as the Lib Dem totals are likely to be up?

Indeed the question of which of the main two parties takes the biggest hit from a Lib Dem recovery could be an excellent pointer to whether Gord can hold onto his majority. If Labour are still up in the late 30s and the Tory surge was down solely to a switch from the Lib Dems then Labour can look forward to the next couple of years with greater confidence.

For the Tories need to be taking Labour votes if they wish to impede Brown’s push for a fourth term for his party. Lib Dem switching is simply not enough.

My guess is that the forthcoming surveys will have both the Tories and Labour down a bit with the Lib Dems recovering maybe 3-4%.

Whatever these number will be what drive the spread betting markets on commons seats where the number each party will get at the election are traded like stocks and shares. The beauty is that if you’ve predicted it right and the level has moved in your direction you can close your bet down and cash in your winnings.

Farewell Jack W One of the site’s most long-standing and entertaining contributors, Jack W posted this last night.

It is with great sadness that I have to advise Mike Smithson and the site that I shall for profound personal reasons be permanently leaving the site.

It has been an immense pleasure to be part of the wonderful political institution that has become PB and I shall greatly miss the many site friends and even the protagonists that have made the journey with me and made it for the most part an absolute joy.

I created Jack W in order to challenge my own political views and this he has achieved, indeed even more so than I could have possibly imagined. In doing so I hope those who have followed his development on PB do not feel cheated. This was never my intention as I never believed Jack would develop as he has. But mortality has crept up on us both and I intend we now bow out with dignity.

JackW was the creation of someone quite well-known in public life and it took me more than two years to figure out who it was. I’ve respected the desire for anonymity and will go on doing so. This character has been a great part of the site and has enriched us all.

Mike Smithson

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