CON 41(nc) LAB 31(nc) LD 17(+2)
Is this too close to hung parliament territory?
The March YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now out and the numbers might cause a touch of concern in Team Cameron and offer a little bit of hope at Brown Central.
For taking these numbers and assuming a uniform national swing and we are not far from the outcome being a hung parliament.
But I must totally disagree with this statement in the Sunday Times report: “The Toriesâ€™ lead has been stuck in the low double digits since the start of the year. To be assured of victory in a likely election next summer, they need a poll lead closer to 20 points at this stage in the cycle.”
That is based on polls of yesteryear when methodologies were different. The assertion that a 20% comes from an era when there was systemic over-statement of Labour in the polls and any experience from those times is simply not relevant.
It is very true that Labour lost a pile of support, compared with its poll positions, at the 1987, 1992 and 1997 general elections and some pundits conclude that there is a “swing-back” to governments. In my view this is not supported. All we were seeing then was the product of old-fashioned Labour over-stating polling which was pointing to shares well in excess of the actual votes of polling day.
Yes – tonight’s poll suggests that it is not going to be as easy for the Tories as some have been suggesting. But the talk of the need for a 20% lead is tosh.