A new ICM poll in the Sunday papers apparently has topline voting intention figures (with charges from their last poll) of CON 41% (+4), LAB 30% (-1), LDEM 19% (-2). The exact dates of the poll aren’t available yet, but normally ICM polls published on a Sunday have fieldwork conducted between Wednesday and Friday, so it’s likely this poll was conducted when Labour’s funding row was at its height. (UPDATE – the News of the World report is here, and the poll was actually conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. It should go without saying that this isn’t the strongest Tory lead for 15 years, it’s the strongest lead for 8 months…but hey, that wouldn’t have been a less impressive headline wouldn’t it? Sheesh)

If confirmed the the changes in vote share would suggest a boost for the Conservatives, a slight fall for Labour and a larger fall for the Liberal Democrats since the last ICM poll a week ago. However, that poll was itself somewhat strange, showing a huge drop in Conservative support and an equally massive 6 point jump in Lib Dem support. I suspect those were down sample error, and hence the Conservatives haven’t really risen so much and the Liberal Democrats haven’t really fallen in this latest poll.

Putting the immediate changes from the rather dubious last ICM poll aside, the poll confirms the same picture we’ve seen elsewhere: the Conservatives are pretty steady around the 40% or low 40s mark – YouGov had them up at 43% but we’ve seen no consistent sign of them profiting from Labour’s misfortune. The Lib Dems have progressed from their autumn lows are are back in the mid or high teens depending on the pollster. Labour’s support has fractured over the last month, compared to the polls at the end of October they are between 6 and 8 points down. As with YouGov and MORI’s recent polls – the picture ICM are giving is that Labour are back where they worse during their worst ratings under Tony Blair.

99 Responses to “ICM give the Conservatives an 11-point lead”

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  1. In deference to John T. , I shall henceforward be lower case and double T!

    I agree that Cameron’s policy announcements (such as they are) have appeal to LibDem thinking (such as local accountability re Council Tax)

    Without wishing any harm to any MP, I’d love to see a “big” bye-election to test the “Clegg” bounce, (if it is he). Perhaps a seat with a Labour majority of 5k, or even a Tory one.

  2. Mark: Turnout may not be 79% (actually in a close race it might be) but it will certainly be far closer to that than it will be to 30%

    A local council by-election is no more an “actual chance to go out and vote” comparable to a general election than completing a 100m sprint is comparable to running a marathon.

  3. Anthony, do you know the Excel version of your swingometer is going to be made available again – when I click on the link it simply takes me back to the main page.

  4. The link shouldn’t be there at all, it’s been surplanted by the html version. If you want to try chopping around with the figures to do projections other than a simple swing there is a csv file of the notional figures on the FAQ page which you can download, open in Excel and use as the base for whatever sort of swingometer you’d like to make.

  5. Peter
    Cameron is already visiting Scotland but no one has seemingly paid any attention. His in-laws have a home [Jura?] and the Cameron’s are regulars. It was once reported he didn’t want to upset the Scots because he didn’t want to intefer with his much loved holiday destination.

  6. The detailed data from this poll is on the ICM website , it is interesting to compare with the ICM/Guardian poll . The new poll actually found a higher number of LibDem supporters than the Guardian poll but lower likelihood to vote and a smaller wighting adjustment gave a lower final published % .
    To emphasise once again that the subsamples data are of little use , the Midlands area from unusually being the strongest in the Guardian poll for LibDems has returned to its usual position of weakest . The 18-24 age group has LibDems in a clear lead with Conservatives a poor 3rd , the Guardian poll was virtually a 3 way tie .

  7. Mark Senior:-

    “The plain fact is that the Conservatives have a lead in opinion polls but much of that is froth and based on Labour unpopularity ”

    …So two years ago, a few months after winning a third consecutive general election, at the same time as Cameron became Conservative leader but not connected with that event-Labour suddenly became unpopular.

    Then when Brown became Labour leader, they suddenly became popular again-but only for four months. Then they became unpopular all over again .

    It’s a funny sort of “froth” isn’t it?

  8. Colin , there is a group of floating voters who like water in the bottom of a boat are moving almost en mass from one party to another dependent on headline news stories . This group of voter support is froth for whichever party it is currently supporting . When Labour had a lead post Brown’s takeover , I said at the time that that lead was based mostly on froth and so it proved . Now this group are saying they will vote Conservative but again it is froth and could move to the LibDems when they have a new leader . They will then boost LibDem poll figures but again it will be based on froth and could disappear to another party and become their froth .

  9. Mark-I do not need to question your figures. Others have done that for me. Please look again at the comments made by ‘middle englander’at 1.50 earlier today and answer the points he has made.
    Neither of the two Lib Dem candidates for the leadership have made the slightest impression on the public so far partly to be fair because the media have shown a distinct lack of interest but also because they are clearly lightweight.
    Governments lose elections rather than oppositions win them but when a government becomes unpopular voters tend to gather round the opposition party most likely to beat them —and that ain’t the Lib Dems.

  10. AW, thanks for telling about where I can find a CSV file of notional seats.

    However, I’ve being using Samplemiser to generate daily vote share figures from the end of August to November 29th (and yes I know there is a huge controversy about using a WMA vs Rolling Average). I’ve got 90 data points for each of the 3 main parties and I’m curious about what notional majorities these three set figures would have produced. Obviously, I could manually input the figures into your Swingometer or Martin Wells’ model. However, typing in 270 pieces of data would be extremely time consuming, and given that new polls in Samplemiser affect previous projections as well as current projections I’d have to re-input much of the data every time I updated my projections. Has anyone got any suggestions about how the process could be automated, using Excel?

  11. Nick , ok middle englander has a slightly different analysis , I don’t know why he does not want to include the Dundee result , it was contested by the same parties as in May and although the SNP won easily , the LibDem vote actually rose more than any other party in % terms . May results are also available for the Norfolk byelection as it was fought in the district elections , including this would bring the results very much more favourable to the LibDems and more unfavourable to the Conservatives who would actually have won in May .
    I am not trying to extrapolate these results into GE or polling figures simply pointing out that real election results are much less favourable to the Conservatives and more favourable to the LibDems than particularly Yougov would have you believe .
    As I mentioned , I did not include the figures from 2 seats gained by the LibDems from the Conservatives as there was no Labour candidate this time .

  12. I think most people do consider that elections in Scotland are somewhat different. Nevertheless, both the Conservative (~4% of first preference votes)and LibDem (~10%)did not do very well in absolute terms whilst the SNP (almost 50%) was included as others. This was in an election which accounted for 27% of the total votes cast in the selected 10 wards. It could therefore be regarded as distorting any analysis of the Con / LibDem / Lab performance.

    I did include the Norfolk County Council election in the first analysis before excluding it in the second as it was for a different authority, and possibly differing issues, to the May 2007 elections.

    It is of note that the Conservatives also gained two seats, in Telford and Wrekin from Labour and in Kerrier from an independent unopposed in May 2007. In neither of these seats did the LibDems field a candidate.

    Surely the purpose of any numeric analysis of the elections posted on this site is to have a high degree of academic rigour. Mark did say in his posting of 9.42pm yesterday that the LibDem vote was up not only as a share but in actual number of votes despite much lower turnout. This was only true because the LibDems did not contest 3 of the selected wards the last time they were fought. The LibDem actual votes in the 6 wards fought on both occasions actually fell – albeit on a lower turnout. My spreadsheet identified this immediately and there I felt the need to repond to correct what I saw as an incorrect analysis.

  13. “When voters have a chance to actually go out and vote Conservative , they do not feel strongly enough about it to actually do so and would rather sit at home in front of the box.”

    Hello!How do you gain almost 1000 council seats without people actually voting for you?!

  14. 601 Hello !! We are talking about the situation now not last May much has changed since then including the Prime Minister
    middle englander fair comment except that as the vote share changes in the Dundee byelection were small ( from memory 3% or less for each party including it does not distort the results nationally ( and despite the Little Englander trend in the Conservative party we are still a United Kingdom parliament ).

  15. 601 is correct.
    The Conservative gain of 911 council seats in May – when the opinion polls were showing the party lower than now – were an excellent set of results (although there’s still more to do – in West Yorkshire, for example).
    If those elections were held now, instead of last May, the chances are that result would be exceeded.

    I’m not surprised other parties wish to downplay our achievement – that’s fair enough – but all I can say is it surpassed every independent commentator’s analysis of what we would need to do well.

  16. Why are the Tories not profitting more from Labour’s fall? Another reason could be one that’s been theorised on this site before over the last 2 years – the Tories go up when Cameron is the story. At the moment he isn’t, Labour is. Yes, Cameron has been visible (inevitable given that he’s leader of HMO) but he’s not, in any way, the story. If, once all this dies down, he immediately launches a couple of eye-catching policies and can make himself become the story, you will likely see Tories polling 45+%

  17. Andrew

    I see that Mike Smithson over at political betting.com is highlighting the question of whether Labour’s fall is due to former Lab voters deciding not to vote rather than transferring to the Tories. We know this is an important issue in absolute terms though looking at the Nov ICM poll it looks to me like the not voting or don’t know share of former Labour voters has stayed the same . What’s changed has been the shift to LD and others. Could you update the fascinating analysis on your previous post on this issue?


  18. Chris, I’m not going to do a new post on the splits yet, the trends haven’t changed the the breaks are too small to really warrant commenting on individual polls.

    I have updated the figures on the spreadsheet I use though, and I agree with you. It doesn’t appear to be a shift to non-voting. The average proportion of former Labour voters saying they are less than 7/10 likely to vote was 12%, it was 13% when I last did it. The change isn’t significant, but it certainly hasn’t gone up. Proportion of former Labour voters saying they will vote Lib Dem, or ‘other’, or don’t know do all seem to be up.

    Very cautious about reading things into every change here though – it’s probably only robust enough to look at significant trends over time.

  19. When is the next poll due? I will be very interesting to see if the trend are continuing. As you know I suspect that this latest somewhat understates C support…

  20. Yes NBeale, I think Populus does so even more than MORI.

  21. When people say that the Tories should be polling numbers like 45%+ they are confusing now with the mid 1990’s. In the mid 90’s when Labour were polling those huge numbers, they wern’t just heading for an election victory, they were heading for a 180 seat record landslide.
    The Tories now, don’t need to do what Labour did then, to win a majority. Cameron will be looking for a majority somewhere around 30 seats. The polls that we’re seeing at the moment very much indicate thats a viable possibility. Will Cameron win a huge 1997 style landslide? NO! Will Cameron win a workable majority? Quite possibly.

    *reposted for spelling*

  22. Wish Peter was around. Would be interested to know how he feels the Human Sheild story is running in Scotland. Perhaps he is out – calling for Wendy’s resignation.

  23. I wasn’t out, I was watching Celtic go down 0-1 to AC Milan, but as Benfica won in the Ukraine, we made the last sixteen of the champions league.

    There is life beyond politics and sadly for me it’s football (or what passes for it in Scotland)

    As to Wendy, human shield or not she got the unanimous backing of MSP’s today so she is probably safe ( but wounded) unless something else turns up.

    Brian Taylor’s Blog pretty much sums it up,


    This from BBC Scotland,


    The issue for Charlie Gordon is that although the report says that the company the donation was posted to a company that Paul Green has a controlling interest in, in the interview green states that it is a consultancy which he owns no part of.

    I don’t think Gordon will resign as, even with a majority of 2,189, Labour wouldn’t want a by-election now.

    Like I’ve said before I have Sympathy for WA as she has been let down and stranded by those around her.

    Having said that she choose them, and to be honest even if it’s cynical politics, given that Alex is sharp and witty and Wendy aggressive and technical, having her wounded with Alex able to poke fun by asking her if she’s “checked her figures” every time she attacks probably suits us just fine.

    I also think the fact that she effectively disappeared for the weekend has hurt her badly. When the going gets tough the tough don’t hide.


  24. This from the SNP tonight ( Tuesday 4th).

    Bare in mind that it is a party press release, but I think the figures from YouGov should be accurate.

    Yes they are obviously “Party Questions” but I think they give people some idea of the current feeling in Scotland. Not a full independent poll but the best we have at the moment.

    For Immediate Release: Monday 3 December 2007






    The Scottish National Party today [Monday] released polling figures
    commissioned from YouGov on support for the Scottish Government and
    political leaders:

    1. The SNP has been in government in Scotland for just over 6 months.
    How do you think the SNP Government has fared so far:

    Well: 63%
    Badly: 26%
    Don’t know: 12%

    Among Tory voters it is 56% well to 32% badly; among Labour voters 52%
    to 38%; and among Lib Dem voters 64% to 32%.

    The last time YouGov polled on Scottish Government satisfaction
    ratings, 60% of Scots thought it was doing a good job, and 27% a bad
    job (1-4 October) – so approval for the Scottish Government is
    actually INCREASING six months into government.

    2. Thinking about the performance of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister
    and Alex Salmond as First Minister of Scotland, which one do you think
    is doing a better job?

    Alex Salmond: 50%
    Gordon Brown: 22%
    Neither: 21%
    Don’t know: 7%

    3. Thinking about the performances of the political party leaders
    since the Scottish election in May, who has impressed you most?

    Alex Salmond, SNP: 46%
    Wendy Alexander, Labour: 10%
    Annabel Goldie, Conservative: 9%
    Nicol Stephen, Lib Dem: 4%
    Don’t know: 31%

    The poll was conducted before the full extent of Labour’s leadership
    crisis in Scotland became apparent.

    Among Labour voters, Alex Salmond is backed by 34% – well ahead of
    Wendy Alexander at just 24%.

    Among Lib Dem voters, Alex Salmond is backed by 39% – more than
    three-times the 12% who favour Nicol Stephen!

    Among Tory voters, Annabel Goldie only just shades Alex Salmond – by
    31% to

    YouGov poll commissioned by the SNP, sample size: 1,111, fieldwork:
    28-30 November 2007


  25. NBeale – Populus are due out next. They are usually the Tuesday after the first weekend of the month, so I did think they might have been today, but clearly it’s going to be next Tuesday.

    I don’t like describing pollsters as understating or overstating a party’s support – it implies that the pollster in the middle is automatically the one that is right when that ain’t necessarily the case (e.g. 1992-1997 ICM were better for the Tories than all the other pollsters, but it was everyone else who was wrong and ICM were right), so Populus do not understate Tory support. They do tend to produce polls that are better for Labour and worse for the Tories than other pollsters.

  26. So business as usual (which Cameron said when the Lib Dems were being squeezed in September. Now we are back to three-party politics with the LibDems well placed to advance under their new leader whoever thatmight be.

  27. Interesting figures from Peter.
    Wendy Alexander’s performances in the Holroyd Parliament are pretty woeful,
    although I did think she was quite good and more relaxed on BBC’s Question Time.

  28. ALEC said:-

    “Mike Richardson – you’re quite wrong, and can’t have been watching the news this week. All the media commentators rated Brown’s Monday and PMQ performance as good, last night he got good comments from BBC/ITN news and the printed press has been in similar vein. Will this last beyond the current crisis? Who knows.” I KNOW ! – THE MIND BOGGLES WHAT MEDIA YOU WERE WATCHING , LISTENING TO OR READING – BUT ALL I HEARD WAS WORDS LIKE “MR BEAN” & “INCOMPETENT” – THESE ARE WORDS AND PHRASES THAT WILL HAUNT BROWN LIKE THE “GREY MAN” HAUNTED MAJOR .

    “You’ve also misread completely the Scottish situation – Tories are now the fourth party, and Cameron is absolutely not the man to deliver any meaningful recovery for them. This matters – the last Tory government needed Scottish seats to form a majority.” I HAVE NOT MISREAD THE SCOTTISH SITUATION – THE TORIES HAVE ALREADY GAINED SEATS IN SCOTLAND WITH EACH GENERAL ELECTION – BUT BASICALLY , THE TORIES DO NOT REALLY NEED SCOTLAND TO WIN AN ELECTION AS WAS PROVED DURING THE THATCHER & MAJOR YEARS / BUT LABOUR WOULD BE LOST IF THEY DID BADLY IN SCOTLAND & WALES !

    Now back to a normal typeface as i have answered the odd points aimed at me from Alec .

    It was interesting this sunday on all the political shows that they had difficulty finding any high ranking Labour MP’s to appear – a point highlighted by Andrew Marr himself , but Cameron was available . Talk about running for cover when the going gets tough – all of this is seen by the voters .

    Can’t wait for the next POLLS – I think ICM just timed their POLL a day or so too early – there is no way Brown will recover from these last few weeks – the one good thing the Liberals have done recently is come up with that name “Mr Bean” – you can’t help it – everytime you see Brown now you can see the similarity – i’m sure i’m not the only one who sees it !

  29. I also did a post a short while back based on another billing – that i believe , that if Brown is interviewed by the police eventually – the fact that 2 Prime Ministers in the same party and government have been interviewed should be looked at with the possibility of the Queen dissolving parliament and calling a general election because of the amount of serious corruption going on . Mark my words there will be even more in the closet as well as more names and numbers to come yet just on this latest financing row alone.

    Don’t forget she once dissolved the Australian government for a lot less .

  30. My last point of the night – promise !

    The Tory idea of capping funding at £50,000 is a great idea – including the Union funding / now that would be fair.

    I can remember years ago when i was in a Union and i asked for my political levy to be stopped – the union representative was shocked that i wanted to / there should be an opt in option rather than an opt out option to funding Labour when you join a union .

  31. Mike
    I’d prefer a box saying which party you would like to receive your “levy”.

    The Queen is unlikely to dissolve parliament as this would risk the rise of republicanism. In Australia, interference by the head of state never strengthens the monarchy system, so even to encourage it here rather paints you as a republican, and I’m sure you are not.

  32. It is inconcievable that the Queen would dissolve Parliament or dismiss the Prime Minister on such grounds. The monarch would never risk doing anything that could potentially be seen as partisan.

    The Australian precedent is the correct one (although the bar is undoubtly higher for the monarch to act than a governor general, if a governor general oversteps the mark they can be replaced, it wouldn’t risk the monarchy itself in the same way). The Whitlam government was dissolved because it was unable to pass a budget through the upper house for several weeks, yet did not resign, bringing the potential for the government to be unable to pay the bills. The dismissal was necessary to break a deadlock that was about to bankrupt the country.

    Those are the circumstances where the monarch could feasibly dismiss a government in the UK – legislation needs to be passed each year to collect taxes, if it wasn’t, and the power to collect taxes lapsed the state would rapidly run out of money and government would collapse. Under those circumstances it would be appropriate for the Queen to dismiss the Prime Minister if an alternate PM would be able to solve the problem. If a Prime Minister lost a vote of confidence or failed to pass the Queens speech or so on but refused to willingly resign or ask for a dissolution and just ignored it, I expect the monarch would dismiss them too.

    Short of that it isn’t going to happen, it’s a silly pipe dream. The monarch’s reserve power to dismiss a government is a constitutional release valve of absolute last resort, things like corruption and incompetence are dealt with by normal politics and policing.

  33. Peter Cairns is spot on when he says that from a SNP( and other) point of view it is better if Wendy Alexander staggers on as Labour leader. She has lost any credibility she ever had and the chances of a Labour revival in Scotland are minimal whilst she remains in post.The same goes for Harriet Harman down south.Long may Wendy continue as a human shield for Harman and indeed Brown.I hope NONE of them resign.
    Well the good news for Labour is that they have reached the middle of the week without a new disaster or cock up. Thank God. I don’t know about anyone else but I am exhausted by all this excitement. I’m all for a quiet week.

  34. Mike, there is no constitutional grounds for the Queen to dissolve Parliament prematurely. Either the PM or Parliament (via a vote of no confidence) need to request the election.

    What happened in Australia is not comparable. For one thing it was not her decision it was the decision of the Governor General. For another the situation was completely different, with Parliament having rejected the governments budget which is why the GG did it.


    Yeah your right,

    They have one, which is indeed an improvement on zero. If they keep this up, at an election every four years or so, they will be the majority party in Scotland by around 2120.

    Maybe I am biased, but I am not holding my breath for the great northern Tory revival.


  36. Anthony – as a matter of pure interest – is this site covered against libel?

  37. Type anything libelous and people can sue you. And me. And the host. So don’t.

  38. People seem to forget the parallels with the late 1980s, when Labour was constantly and massively ahead in the polls – and the government in all sorts of trouble which excited the media – but still failed to win two elections. I suspect when it comes to marking their ballot papers voters will still think twice about voting for Cameron as they failed to do for Kinnock.
    Undoubtedly there’s much more bad news to come, but the general election is 18 months away. The election is Brown’s to lose, and although the Tories have had a field day in recent weeks, who knows what nasties might surface (donors, racist candidates, European in-fighting, Boris Johnson)which could scupper their chances again.
    And although undoubtedly very revealing of the mindset of the political classes, dodgy donors are not to be upmost in the elector’s minds come election day.

  39. I know it’s not exactly a polls question but I was wondering if any of you political buffs could clear this up for me.

    I’ve noticed a few times lately that Gordon Brown in PMQ’s has referred to Cameron as just “he” or “him”. I was under the impression that MP’s were supposed to always say “the Right Honourable Gentleman”. Is this allowed? I can’t recall TB ever doing it.

  40. Just to clarify; obviously an MP can say “after” saying “the RHG” eg “The RHB has got his figures wrong, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” but can he just wave his hand dismissively in the oppositions direction and say “he’s talking rubbish

  41. Sorry, I meant;

    ..”he” after..

    It’s been a long day.

  42. Steven- Speakers don’t sem to be particularly strict as they would be if MPs referred to each other by name or called one another “you”. (Actually thinking about it I think Cameron slipped up a couple of months ago and accidentally referred to either Brown or Blair as “you”.)

  43. Peter
    Thank you for the info and the links.


    Okay – i can understand your desire for there not to be a Tory revival in Scotland – but you would have to be blind not see that there is one there – what choice do the Scots have ? 3 Socialist parties :- Labour / Liberal / SNP & 1 mainstream centre right party the Tories !

    The last election for Holyrood showed a massive swing to the Tories – they gained seats along with the Nationalists – did they not ?

    Yes the Tories only gained 1 seat in the last Westminster election from zero / but if you look closely at the following seats you will see that the Tories are a risk to all 3 of the Socialist parties – especially if there is any tactical voting – these seats could quite easily fall to the Tories (look at the 2005 results before the Tories started to hammer both the Liberals and Labour :-

    Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine – 3rd – 28.4%

    Angus – 2nd – 29.4%

    Argyl & Bute – 2nd – 23.5%

    Berwickshire , Roxburgh & Selkirk – 2nd – 28.8%

    Dumfries & Galloway – 2nd – 35.4%

    Edinburgh South – 3rd – 24.1%

    Edinburgh South West – 2nd – 23.3%

    Moray – 2nd – 21.9%

    Perth & North Perthshire – 2nd – 30.4%

    Renfrewshire East – 2nd – 29.9%

    Stirling – 2nd – 25%

    The 11 constituences i have listed are all quite easy for the Tories to get with a bit of tactical voting against Labour and disillusionment for the Liberals – i have only picked constituencies that have narrow margins between all the parties – So PLEASE Peter – complacency is a dangerous thing – don’t forget who the Tories won Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale from – YOURSELVES !!

    As i have said before – you and your party may give great creedance to Scotland being the only way that the Tories can win an election – that is so untrue – as you know they have won handsomely before without Scotland – winning more seats in Scotland would just be a bonus to them – it’s Labour that would die without Scotland !

  45. The Herald today brings a few results from a YouGov survey they did for the SNP. It showed Holyrood voting intentions for SNP and Labour to be at 40% and 29%, respectively.

  46. Iv’e heard about kettle calling the pot black…and I quote “the fact that 2 Prime Ministers in the same party and government have been interviewed should be looked at with the possibility of the Queen dissolving parliament”

    Yhis from a supporter of a party who had it’s own prison wing the last time it was in power,it had so many jailed.

    I give you Mr “Honesty” Archer,the man to lead London….OH I SAY!

    I give you Mr”Swords of Truth” Aitken….OH I SAY!


  47. Re previous comments, and dissolution of the Australian Parliament. The Governor General’s dissolution of the Australian Parliament was damaging to the monarchy, but a Head of State whose idea of impartiality is never to take any positive action in public is also courting unpopularity by condoning crime and corruption. The classic example is the abolition of the Italian monarchy after the King had failed to act against Mussolini’s dictatorship until far too late.

    In response to Mike Richardson and Phillip Thompson, as I understand it the constitutional position is that the Queen can dissolve Parliament whenever she likes. But actually she is constrained by convention which is ultimately upheld by what the public will accept. Charles I did not get away with the Divine Right of Kings!

  48. Anthony,

    will the full SNP results be going up and do they have set of Westminster results,

    Mike Richardson,

    Dear dear mike, you’ll have to do better than that.

    The list does look impressive at eleven seats but a fact on it’s own is a lonely thing, so lets add the winning parties share and the required swing.

    Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine – 3rd – 28.4%
    LibDem seat, share -46.3%, swing required 17.9%
    Even with the LibDems falling still a huge task,

    Angus – 2nd – 29.4%
    SNP seat, share -33.7%, swing required 4.2%
    Unlikely with the SNP 10% up on 2005.

    Argyl & Bute – 2nd – 23.5%
    LibDem seat, share – 36.5%, swing required 13%,
    Again unlikely and it should be noted that this was an SNP gain at Holyrood not a Tory one.

    Berwickshire , Roxburgh & Selkirk – 2nd – 28.8%
    LibDem seat, share – 41.8%, swing 13%
    Again a really big ask for the Tories in the borders.

    Dumfries & Galloway – 2nd – 35.4%
    Labour seat, share – 41.1%, swing required 5.7%
    This is a possible given Labours woes.

    Edinburgh South – 3rd – 24.1%
    Labour seat, share – 32.3%, but LibDems on 32.3% in Second.
    swing required for Tories 8%
    Unlikely to see the Tories pick up all the Labour and LibDem deserters, and much more likely a LibDem gain.

    Edinburgh South West – 2nd – 23.3%
    Labour seat, share – 39.8%, swing required 16.5%.
    Even though he is struggling as chancellor, Alistair darling has a huge profile and a personal vote to overcome.

    Moray – 2nd – 21.9%
    SNP seat, share 36.6%, swing required 14.6%
    No Chance Angus Robertson is hugely popular has a high profile as SNP leader in the house, and has lead on the Nimrod issue locally. Also the LibDems and Labour were both only 2% behind the Tories.

    Perth & North Perthshire – 2nd – 30.4%
    SNP seat, share 33.7%, swing – 3.3%
    again given that the Tories are static and the SNP way up, highly unlikely.

    Renfrewshire East – 2nd – 29.9%
    Labour seat, share 43.9%, swing – 14%
    Again a huge task for the Tories even with Labour in trouble

    Stirling – 2nd – 25%
    Labour seat, share 36%, swing – 10.9%
    Another tough one especially as the LibDems were only 5% behind the Tories.

    So on my count of the possible eleven gains you’ve identified only one is a good bet, three are unlikely and the remaining seven wishful thinking.

    Oh and at the last election the Tories gained one and lost one so there record is actually 0,1,1 so they aren’t making any gains at every election.

    Still on my take if you do go to two seats in 2010, you’ll be able to claim that the Tories had a massive success with 200% of the seats they previously held.


  49. Peter – yep, they are going up, they are just checking with the SNP which bits have been released so far. No idea what other questions there are (and couldn’t tell you if I did!)

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