A new YouGov poll in Saturday’s Telegraph has voting intentions (with changes from the poll last weekend) of CON 33%(-1), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 16%(+1). The previous YouGov poll was largely conducted before Northern Rock, this was conducted between the 19th and 21st of September making it the first full voting intention poll conducted entirely since Northern Rock.

It’s pretty clear that the poll shows no significant change from the Northern Rock affair, the Liberal Democrat conference has also had a minor effect at best, with a rise of a single point. While the leads aren’t hugely different – 8 points as opposed to 6 points – it is actually painting a different picture to ICM – ICM showed the largest Labour lead yet, this poll is still down from the peak of the Brown boost. It’s probably not methodological differences: since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister YouGov have tended to be the pollster who produce the largest Labour leads, certainly they’ve tended to show larger leads than ICM. Perhaps its just because ICM’s poll was conducted at the very height of the crisis and people rallied to Gordon Brown as the strong leader… and now the crisis seems to be over they’ve returned to their previous views.

Specifically on Northern Rock 52% of people thought the government handled it well, with 37% disagreeing. The vast majority of people don’t seem to be worried about the security of their savings, 74% say they are not very worried or not worried at all, and only 3% say they are very worried. The effect of Northern Rock on other underlying scores is negative for Labour, but only marginally so – Brown’s lead as best Prime Minister is down 2 points from the last YouGov poll to ask the question, but that still leaves it at an inpressive 22 points. Labour’s lead on the economy is down 4 points, but that still leaves it at a healthy 8 points.

All things considered, Labour appear to have emerged unscathed from the Northern Rock incident. A six point lead must be on the margin of Brown calling an October election – it doesn’t take much of a Lib Dem campaign recovery at Labour’s expense or a couple of campaign tumbles to move it into majority losing territory. On the other hand, what was previously a very soft Labour lead has now been tested against a banking crisis and survived. Tim Montgomerie and Iain Dale are both reporting that the Conservative party is on red alert for an election announcement as soon as Monday.


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