Tories increase their YouGov lead by a point

Tories increase their YouGov lead by a point

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    But voters think the Speaker, Michael Martin, should resign

The February survey by YouGov for the Daily Telegraph this morning suggests that public opinion is remaining pretty stable with hardly any movement on the last poll from the firm ten days ago. The figures with changes on the last survey from the poll ten days ago are: CON 40% (nc): LAB 33% (-1): LD 16% (nc)

The figures mean that in every singly YouGov survey since Brown’s October U-turn over the general election the Conservatives have had a share of 40% or above.

One other good measure of opinion that YouGov Telegraph polls always include is the the pollster’s forced choice question when respondents are asked whether they would prefer a Cameron-led Tory government or a Brown-led Labour one. This is now at Cameron’s Tories 44% – Brown’s Labour 36%.

There’s bad news for the Speaker, Michael Martin, in the poll. By 55% to 15% those questioned thought he was abusing the system of allowances and by 45% to 28% it was felt that he should resign.

A few more surveys like this could land Martin in trouble. His is a role where there has to be public confidence and if that is fading then it could put him under greater pressure. It could also impact on Brown and the many MPs, particularly Labour ones, who are giving him their backing. That is starting to look like a bad call.

The poll, however, found a plit of 37%-37% when asked if they thought that a significant number of MPs claimed expenses improperly.

In terms of betting there’s not a lot in the surveys that’s going to change anything. Most interest at the moment is focussed on the US and with, of course, the Ken-Boris clash now less than two months away.

The Telegraph has decided that this is a “bad news for Dave poll”. Quite why is not clear but maybe that is the narrative it wants to follow at the moment. Why not just report that little has changed?

Mike Smithson

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