— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) April 14, 2016
Alastair Meeks says predicting GE2020 is harder than the blues think
Much comment has been passed this week on David Cameron’s falling ratings.Â He now ranks behind Jeremy Corbyn on favourability ratings with YouGov.Â “How low he has sunk” is the usual comment, and it is true.
But as the table above shows, this is not a problem confined to David Cameron.Â He actually rates better head-to-head against Jeremy Corbyn on the question “who would make the best prime minister” than either Boris Johnson or George Osborne.Â Indeed, George Osborne trails Jeremy Corbyn by a considerable distance.Â Three clear conclusions can be drawn:
- The referendum is destroying the Conservatives’ image with the public.
- The Conservatives believe that taking on Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is like the Oxford rowing team racing a pedalo. But that is not particularly easy to justify on present polling: Labour is edging ahead in the polls and Jeremy Corbyn is looking competitive in the leadership ratings.
- The Conservatives cannot just choose anyone they like as Conservative leader and expect to romp to victory.
Right now the Conservative party is fixated on the EU referendum.Â It has more than two months more to rip itself apart about this.Â Does anyone think that its polling is going to improve in that period?Â The damage to the Conservatives’ reputation might be very long-lasting indeed.
Far from being the unspeakable against the unelectable, we might be looking at a three-legged race where both main parties voluntarily hobble themselves with introspective policy programmes and deeply unattractive leaders.Â Predicting a winner might be far harder than the Conservatives currently believe.
For betting purposes the conclusion is clear: for now at least, bet against the Conservatives in any market that depends on their long term prospects.Â They, and too many of their followers, are far too complacent about how match fit they will be.Â It’s best to relieve them of their money before they wake up.