Will today’s polls bring a smile back to his face?
Following the good news for Labour in last night’s YouGov poll on the London mayoralty there’s a further boost for the party in new national voting intention surveys from YouGov and ICM this morning. And one of them has Labour’s deficit down to just two per cent.
The latter finding is in the monthly ICM survey for the Guardian which has, with comparisons on the last poll from the firm a fortnight ago the following splits: CON 37% (-3): LAB 35% (+2): LD 20% (+2)
The main caverat about the poll is that for some reason it is actually quite old. The fieldwork started on the Friday before last and went on until Sunday. Normally the Guardian publishes its surveys within a day or two but for some reason it appears to have been hanging on to this one. The timing means that all the interviews took place before the Northern Rock statement and, of course, the Hain resignation.
The figures also follow what is becoming a pattern for ICM – that its surveys for the Guardian are showing worse figures for the Tories than its polls for other newspapers. Quite why this should be is not clear but it is the fourth month in a row when this has happened.
There will be fewer jitters at Tory HQ about this morning’s YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph which still has the party at above 40% albeit with a slightly smaller lead. These are the shares compared with the last national poll by the firm: CON 41 (-2)%: LAB 33% (nc): LD 16% (+2)
Again timing is significant with the fieldwork starting on Monday and finishing on Wednesday. Generally the first day’s response is the the largest so a significant proportion of responders will have filled in their online questionnaires before the statement on Northern Rock.
My main observation is the ICM survey took place while Brown was on his much publicised trip to China and India and the Tories were barely getting into the headlines or on the bulletins. This relative lack of exposure has continued this week. As I have commented here many times there is a direct correlation between the level of news coverage that Cameron is getting and Tory poll ratings.
The Lib Dems will be pleased to see their shares in both polls moving upwards.
So which of these polls is giving the better picture – crucial if you are a gambler on the commons seats spread markets? If you go with YouGov then the Tories are heading for 323 to 326 seats – just around the crucial 325 that will be required for an overall majority and well above current spread betting levels.
Still to come this month is ComRes in the Independent which I think is taking place at the moment and the big face-to-face Ipsos-MORI monitor.