The last ICM poll showed the Conservatives gaining a single point, a movement too small to be significant by itself. This month’s YouGov poll also shows the Conservatives starting to inch upwards. The headline voting intention figures with changes from YouGov’s last poll are CON 33% (+1), LAB 41% (-1), LDEM 14% (nc).
The Labour lead in this poll is obviously larger than in ICM’s poll – YouGov’s methodology seems to produce lower levels of support for the Lib Dems to the advantage of the Labour party – and in both cases the changes are too small to be significant looked at in isolation, but if the pattern continues in Populus’s poll next week we could be seeing the beginnings of a narrowing of the gap.
The vast majority of the fieldwork for this poll was carried out prior to the announcement of Conservative policies on crime and the positive coverage it received in the newspapers, so that will not yet be reflected in the polls – Populus’s poll next week will be our first chance to judge that properly (according to Benedict Brogan, Populus’s private polls commissoned by the Conservative party are already showing the parties neck and neck again. When we see the sort of figures their published polls are showing next week we’ll know how trustworthy that little snippet was!)
UPDATE: Looking at the rest of the figures Brown’s ratings continue to rise – his approval rating is now +10 from +7 last month, with both approves and disapproves going up as the don’t knows gradually make their minds up about him. Government approval has risen slightly too to -22, though interestingly, despite Brown’s strong positive ratings it is still very negative. David Cameron’s ratings have fallen lower, his approval rating has reached -26, with 50% now thinking he is performing badly as Conservative leader.
Asked which party is best on individual issues the Conservatives have largely been pushed back to their core issues – immigration, where they have a 17 point lead, and law and order where they have a 10 point lead. On taxation, terrorism and pensions the two main parties are pretty much neck and neck. Labour lead elsewhere, most obviously on child care where they have a 21 point lead and the economy, where they have around an 11 point lead on the various facets of running the economy.
UPDATE 2: I’ve confirmed the dates, it was actually done early, carried out between the 24th-28th August. This means it would have been before most of the reaction to the murder of Rhys Jones, let alone the Conservative policy announcements this week. It also means…shudder…that it was conducted over a bank holiday weekend. I’m not sure if there is any actual emperical evidence that bank holiday weekends do produce unreliable samples, but people do tend to be a bit wary of them.