CONSERVATIVES 43% (+1)
LABOUR 30% (nc)
LIB DEMS 18% (-1)
How big a disappointment will this be at No 10?
After the YouGov poll showing that the Tory lead had slipped backed to just seven percent at the weekend there were high hopes at Brown Central that the G20 meeting last week might have turned the corner.
Well the Times Populus Poll for April is just out and the only changes are a one point increase in the Tory share at the expense of the Lib Dems.
Figures like these mean that Cameron could look forward to a solid working majority at the general election compared with the hung parliament prospect suggested by YouGov.
What is interesting is that fieldwork for the two polls took place almost at the same time. YouGov’s was on Friday and Saturday while Populus went from Friday through to Monday. This probably reflects that most YouGov respondents completed their online questionnaires on the Friday while the Populus fieldwork took place relatively evenly over the three days.
But it is not all gloom for Gordon. Peter Riddell points that a “quarter (26 per cent) feel more positively towards him as Prime Minister because of the way he chaired the meeting, while 11 per cent feel less positively, with 62 per cent saying no difference. The most positive are professionals and managers and Labour and Lib Dem voters.”
That’s fine of course but when you are facing a general election within a year you want voters to do more than just “feel positively”. Elections are about votes and on that question the overall numbers are not good for Labour.
I have to say that I am very surprised and was predicting to a couple of Labour supporters at lunchtime that the gap would have closed by about two points. For me the critical number in any poll is the Tory share. If that is 41% or more than it’s hard, even with the unfavourable electoral arithmetic, to see Cameron being denied a majority government.
Betting markets for the next general election.