My assessment: the Tories have a 90% chance of winning
We’ve now got more information about the Mail on Sunday’s ICM poll on the Crewe and Nantwich by election and it’s clear that the situation is even worse for Labour than was being reported last night. The panel above is reproduced from the paper.
For the Tory by election poll margin of 4% would have been 12% but for ICM’s “sprial of silence” adjustment. This is a standard procedure and involves allocating to Labour half the votes of those party supporters from the last general election who now say they they will turnout but “don’t know” yet what they will do.
I cannot recall a survey in the past when this adjuster has produced changes on this scale – normally it affects the shares by a maximum of 1-2%.
My guess is that the final votes on May 22nd will be much closer to ICM’s 16% Tory lead on general election voting intention than the reported figure of 4% for the by election. Based on these figures my view is that Cameron’s Conservatives have at least a 90% chance of taking the seat.
In many ways the Crewe and Nantwich general election voting figure is more dramatic than YouGov’s national 26% Tory lead that was reported on Friday. For C&N is constituency number 165 on the Tory target list and if a 16% lead actually occurred here then Cameron would win the general election with a massive land-slide.
Another survey in the Observer also suggests that there has been a sea-change in opinion. The paper notes that “a Tory government is preferred to a Labour one by a margin of 50 to 32 per cent. In another significant boost for Cameron, more voters think the Conservatives would do a better job of governing than believe they would do a worse jobâ€
It’s not clear from the online edition of the paper who carried out the survey and whether or not the pollster is a member of the British Polling Council.
The latest Crewe and Nantwich betting prices have the Tories at 0.4/1 with Betfair and 4/11 with the traditional bookmakers. It looks good to me.