But could “events” put a smile back on their faces?
In a radio interview being reported today, the boss of pollster, ComRes, Andrew Hawkins is suggesting that the election is in the bag the for the Tories.
He said: “If Gordon Brown stays in post until the General Election then despite the protest that this will elicit from Tories then yes it is a done deal…
â€œOn the analysis weâ€™ve done going back over theg last 4 years worth of polls some 400 plus polls and you look at the mothly average, you extrapolate the historical trends to the middle of next year then youâ€™re looking at a Tory majority of about 100 on a swing of around 10%. And while I understand the political message about not being complacent the reality is unless something goes cataclysmically wrong or Gordon Brown jumps ship and makes room for someone else as PM then theyâ€™re heading for a very significant victory.â€
I’m not so convinced. There is a lot that can happen and the recent mega-marginals poll raised questions about the Tory performance in Scotland and in LD>CON marginals – where the findings suggest that they are not doing as well as they were hoping.
On the other hand there were many projected gains in England particularly in areas like the midlands, Yorkshire, and the north west where disproportionate swings to the Tories were found.
Meanwhile spread punters continue to buy Tory seats and sell Labour. The Lib Dems have also moved up. Before Gordon Brown’s conference speech began to affect YouGov’s daily tracker ratings the SportingIndex spead market on the number of seats the parties will win at the next election had moved to what I think was a record low of 198 – 203 seats. This then went up to 200 – 2005. It’s now slipped to a new low of 197 – 202.
I’m waiting for the first batch of non-conference polls when we should get a clearer picture.