Tories shrug off Conway affair in new Populus poll (revised)

Tories shrug off Conway affair in new Populus poll (revised)

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    Tory lead boosted to 9% in spite of problems

The figures from this month’s Populus poll for the Times are just out and show an increase in the Tory lead. The shares are CON 40% (nc): LAB 31% (-2): LD 17% (-2).

The Tory share of 40% equals the best the pollster has recorded since the general election and the nine point margin is the best.

I go back to the point that I repeatedly raise – that Tory poll ratings are closely linked to the volume of media coverage the party is getting – good or bad. What Conway has done has put the party back in the headlines again.

During longish periods in January Cameron and crew had a hard time getting a look in. When Northern Rock was dominating the news it was Vince Cable who the media went to – not Osborne or Cameron. And, of course, Peter Hain’s troubles blanked out the other parties.

So what about political gamblers trying to predict the general election? In the past five days we have had polls ranging from a 1% Labour lead to today’s 9% Tory lead. In terms of seats at a general election the seat predictors put Tory seat level in the range 245 to 321 seats. Who knows what to do?

Mike Smithson

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