Just how much has the gap closed?

Just how much has the gap closed?


Has a “Hung Parliament” now dropped down the agenda?

In preparation for my monthly polling slot for tonight’s “The Westminster Hour” on Radio 4 I’ve been having a good look at the numbers.

Clearly in the immediate period after the conference season the Tories were doing better than they have been in the past three weeks. The overnight surveys from YouGov and ICM were the first since mid-November to be back in the 40s.

By contrast the Labour shares have been relatively stable. Excluding the November Ipsos-MORI poll, of which there has been much comment, Brown’s party is pretty much where it was in October.

Although Brown Central will be much cheered by their progress with ICM they would have preferred, surely, that across the board any narrowing of the gap to have been down to their own support showing a sustained move upwards.

The big trend, though, has been the continued robustness of the “others” share. UKIP/BNP/GREEN are continuing to hold onto their support.

Will this be across the board or could we see rising shares for “others” to be where it doesn’t matter. This segment’s smallest share in any poll was in the YouGov survey of northern LAB>CON marginals.

This coming week I’m expecting several surveys the first, hopefully, will be from Populus for the Times tomorrow night. This has been having Labour in a slightly better position than the other firms – it had a 10% lead in October which was repeated in November.

Mike Smithson

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