Improvement from such a low base should be easier
I’m not attaching too much importance to voting intention polls at the moment. Firstly we are still waiting for the review by the British Polling Council of what went wrong with the May 7th surveys. That is due out in March and is likely to make important proposals about the way polls are conducted
Then there’s the fact that that neither of the two main parties is currently being led by the person who will be the choice for Prime Minister offered at the next election. That will change on September 12th with Labour but it will be probably 2018 or 2019 before we see who Mr Cameron’s successor is.
Assuming this Parliament goes its full term we are more than 4 and a half years away from an election taking place.
So far the pollsters and those who commission them have been sensitive to the fact that this is not the best time to be promoting Westminster voting intention surveys. The result is that we had so few of them.
My guess is that things will change quite sharply after this years Party Conference season because, of course, the big new fact will be the new Labour leader. How she, or much more likely he, is doing in the surveys could play a key part in their survival.
A factor that kept Ed Miliband in place right through until May 7th was the polling. Labour didn’t appear to be doing that badly and indeed on some projections that we had looked set to win most seats. Why change a leader apparently was doing OK in the polls?
After that experience the party will be looking more critically at the numbers that come out. There will be an expectation that Labourâ€™s poll rating should start to improve a move at least to parity with the Tories.
So what could be better for the new leader if the starting point is very low indeed. And that is what the ComRes 14% CON lead does.