Is Gord’s party really doing better than in 2005?
The results of Ipsos-Mori January face to face survey of more than 2000 people are just out and give Labour a one point lead – a huge change on the last survey by the pollster just three weeks ago. Unlike this survey the earlier poll was by phone.
These are the latest shares with comparisons on the earlier survey CON 37% (-5): LAB 38% (+6): LD 16% (+1). The fieldwork took place the week before last finishing on January 23rd. A YouGov poll that closed on the same date had an 8%
Labour Conservative lead.
The 38% share for Labour is two points more than Tony Blair’s party secured at the last general election and, according to the Anthony Wells seat calculator, would give Labour 343 MPs an overall majority of 36. The Tories would be on 245 and the Lib Dems on 35.
While the size of the move to Labour is quite a shock it is in the same direction as all the other polls. The Tories have been faltering of late and that has been picked up by four of the five polling organisations
There’s some good news for Cameron in that his net satisfaction rating is just -7% compared with -16% for Gordon Brown.
So what are commons seats spread-betters supposed to do? There is an enormous gulf between the polls and you can make the case for a Tory total ranging from 245 to 320 seats. That’s a big range. I turned my Tory BUY position into a Tory SELL at 300 seats last week. It looks like it was a good call.
UPDATE: I’ve just had this comment on the poll by Julia Clark – head of Political Research at Ipsos-MORI:-
No doubt you will notice that fieldwork was conducted more than a week ago; the delay in release was due to the fact that we were doing additional checks on the data as we did not expect to see a Labour lead (albeit a very small one)! However, we are confident that the data is correct and that it does reflect a temporary ‘blip’ of support for Labour, which was linked to dissatisfaction with Cameron and potentially also concern about the economy.
As you can see, net satisfaction with the Govt and Brown has increased since December (Govt: Net of -37 in Dec to -33 now; Brown: Net of -23 in Dec to -16 now), but net satisfaction with Govt and Brown among party supporters has dropped (Govt: Net of +21 in Dec to +17 now; Brown: Net of +41 in Dec to +28 now). This suggests to us that the very slight Labour lead figures are due to floating voters (or neutrals) moving towards Labour — despite their dislike of Brown himself.
This is also reflected in the ICM poll carried out over a similar time period, which also showed a Tory share of 37%, and showed a Labour share of 35% (well within the margin of error to our poll).