Is Gordon now staring defeat in the face?

Is Gordon now staring defeat in the face?

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    Two more polls show increases in the Labour deficit

A week ago Gord returned from his holiday and went on the publicity offensive with a series of set-piece interviews and high profile announcements. For days there was hardly a TV bulletin without him featuring. This wasn’t a re-launch, we were assured, but it had all the makings of one. Brown was trying to get the initiative back and to build on the improvements in Labour polling fortunes that we had seen in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

That all seems to have fallen flat on its face with two more bad polls for the government. For following yesterday’s Ipsos-MORI survey in the Sun showing a double digit Labour deficit we now have surveys from ICM and YouGov in the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times which report the same trend. Gord’s big week has led to big Labour setbacks.

These are the numbers that won’t make welcome reading in Downing Street:-

  • ICM: CON 40%(+1): LAB 33%(-1): LD 18% (nc)
  • YouGov: CON 43%(+3): LAB 33%(-2): LD14%(-1)
  • A factor that we have to consider is that the recent Labour recovery might have been a mirage – caused by the well-known problems of polling during periods when a lot of people are away from home. For some reason these tend to produce poorer Tory shares than surveys during normal times.

    There’s also been the Peter Hain donation affair which cannot have been helpful and provided a reminder of one of the big problems Labour experienced last year.

    But could Gordon’s massive media exposure during the week have contributed? Could it be that the controversial “named leader” question polls that we saw from January 2006 – May 2007 were right and that Gordon is a vote-loser? These, it will be recalled, almost always showed that Labour did worse when Brown and Cameron’s names were mentioned.

    For me the polling has prompted a total turnaround in my spreadbetting on the number of seats the parties will get at the general election. I had been a £50 a seat Labour buyer at 273 seats. I’m now a £100 a seat Conservative buyer at an average of 300 seats – so if the general election produces the 345 Tory seats that the Anthony Wells seat predictor suggests that the YouGov shares would lead to then I make 45 times my stake level = £4500.

    You cannot ignore three polls taken at about the same time all moving in the same direction.

    With this form of betting the number of seats are traded like stocks and shares and if your prediction is right and the seat levels increase/decrease to more than cover the difference between the buy and sell prices then you can cash in and take your profits immediately. You can also close down positions, as I did yesterday with my Labour trade, and cut your losses.

    Mike Smithson

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