But Brown gets a poll boost over Miliband
The general picture from the monthly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is one of little change although as ever we have the paper seeking to compare its latest numbers with its last poll rather than the last poll from the firm.
The new shares with changes on a week ago are: CON 45% (-1): LAB 25% (-1): LD 18% (+1) – so Labour’s position continues to be dire and if these numbers were repeated at a general election there would be a Conservative landslide.
There have been six YouGov surveys since Mr. Brown celebrated his first year at Number 10 in June and these have had the following Tory leads – 18%, 22%, 19%, 22%, 20%, 20% – so the pollster has been fairly consistent.
Gordon must be hoping for some improvement, if only by a couple of points, to help him head off criticism as he prepares for what could be a difficult week in Manchester next month at the party conference.
He will take some comfort, however, from the findings of questions about him compared with the young pretender, David Milliband, who made his “non-bid” for the leadership in the now infamous Guardian article nearly three weeks ago.
As the Sunday Times notes Miliband was regarded by only 21% of those in the sample as potentially a better prime minister. Brown was rated as a better leader by 38%. Among Labour supporters the split was 51% to 21%.
The improvement in the Lib Dem figures from the pollster that since the general election has usually produced their worst ratings will be of some comfort to Nick Clegg and his colleagues. This is especially so because the most recent survey from what is the party’s most favourite pollster, 16%, last had them showing a steepish decline to 16%.
And the betting mystery? – the failure of the commons seats spread markets to respond to the mass of polling evidence will no doubt continue. There seem to be very few Tory backers about and the levels suggest a final seat tally of about 345. The seat calculator suggest that the Tories would get 414 seats – a total that is larger than what Tony Blair achieved for Labour in 1997.
So if the poll and the seat calculation proved to be right on election day a Â£100 a seat Tory buy bet would produce a profit based on a margin of 414 minus the trade level of 345 (69 seats) multiplied by the stake level equals Â£6,900.