But why has the Indy been sitting on the survey for a week?
What is almost certainly the final poll of 2007, ComRes for the Independent, is published this morning and the most surprising element is that the field-work took place during the weekend before last and so pre-dates the latest YouGov and ICM surveys.
Quite why the paper has been holding on to this for so long is not clear but it does mean that the poll takes no account of the change in Lib Dem leadership or what was probably a better week for Gordon.
The figures with changes on last month are CON 41% (+1): LAB 30%(+3): LD 16%. (-2) So the Tory lead was down a couple of points although Cameron’s party’s vote share was up a notch.
Of the non-voting questions the one that could be most significant is that is that 48% agreed with the statement that “it’s time for change and the next government should be a Conservative one”, while only 36 per cent would prefer a Labour. Lib Dem supporters split 41%-44% on this forced choice.
Andrew Grice, the paper’s political editor notes: “Privately, ministers are worried that “time for change” will become a potent weapon for Mr Cameron, just as it was for Tony Blair in 1997’s election. Previous surveys have suggested a narrower gap when similar questions were asked, raising Labour hopes that there is no great clamour for a Tory government. The ComRes findings will raise Tory expectations that a sea change may now be under way.”
I think that we are going to have to wait until we have seen the January polls before coming to firm conclusions. What’s going to be the impact of Clegg’s leadership of the Lib Dems? His challenge is to enable his party to recover some of the voters lost to the Tories since 2005 whilst retaining ex-Labour voters.
News of the 2008 Politicalbetting.com Party â€“ Sponsored by Ladbrokes! (by Peter Smith). This yearâ€™s PB Party will once again be held at that excellent venue, The National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2HE, on Friday 25th January 2008, from 6pm until about 9.30pm, or when thrown out if sooner.
There will be a cash bar and a Â£5 entry charge, payable on the door, as a contribution towards sandwiches and nibbles. Ladbrokes have generously donated Â£150 towards the event, thanks to the influence of regular poster Matthew Shaddick (Shadsy) of The Magic Sign.
Since it is pay on the door, no firm commitments are necessary but it would be helpful if you could give an indication if you are intending to come. We have worked on the basis of about 50 attendees, but if it looks like being much more or less, we may want to alter arrangements. Name tags showing stage names will be available but are strictly optional.
Last yearâ€™s Party was an unqualified success. Letâ€™s hope this yearâ€™s will be the same and will provide a suitable launch pad for another brilliant year for Politicalbetting.com.
I look forward to renewing some old acquaintances and making some new ones.
Seasons greetings to everybody – Peter Smith (Peter the Punter)