The Guardian’s monthly ICM poll is just out and produces vote shares very much in the same ball-park as the YouGov poll earlier in the week. Fieldwork for the latter was taken on Tuesday and Wednesday while the former was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday.
Labour will feel encouraged and the Tories will still be pleased to be above the 40% mark even though they have been almost totally out of the headlines for weeks.
The timing of the poll means that there is no conference bounce for the Lib Dems.
I was hoping that the Guardian would have followed its usual pattern and agreed that the fieldwork would have started on the Friday and carried over to the Saturday and Sunday. Quite why it has been brought forward is strange because, as was noted with the earlier YouGov poll, surveys bang in the middle of the conference season have a history of producing odds outcomes.
The reason things can get distorted at this time is that the broadcasters are committed to carry extended coverage which has the effect of blanking out the other parties.
But there we are. All we can do is wait until the effect of the conference system has shaken itself out of the system and we can then get a real sense of the major political battle.
If Labour manage to keep the deficit under 10% then they have a real chance of stopping a Tory overall majority. I don’t think they will do and there will be sharp swings back to the Tories once they have had massive media exposure from their conference.
Tonight’s presidential debate. A new thread is set to be published at midnight and Morus will be covering tomorrow.