No confirmation yet, so take this with a shovel-load of salt, but a rumour has just reached me of a MORI poll tomorrow showing the Conservatives at 52%, Labour at 24% and the Lib Dems at 12%. Seriously, I’ve no idea of the provenance of this and have no idea how trustworthy it is, so treat it with due scepticism.

UPDATE: Mike Smithson has had it confirmed by MORI that there is a poll, and it will be released by the PA at midnight. They would not confirm or deny the figures though…

UPDATE 2: Now seems to be true. Mike Smithson says he’s got the figures from a journalist who has seen the embargoed press release and Nick Palmer reports being phoned up by ITN looking for a reaction to the poll. Assuming the figures are true the changes from MORI’s last poll are CON 52%(+4), LAB 24%(nc), LDEM 12%(-4). The poll was conducted between the 12th and 14th of September, so after Siobhain McDonagh broke ranks, but prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers: this might be a reaction to Labour’s leadership troubles, but the new economic crisis had not yet hit.

The raw changes from MORI’s last poll are, of course, somewhat odd. One might expect the Conseratives to benefit from Labour collapsing into disarray, but this instead shows the Lib Dems slumping. There is no obvious reason for this, so even if the figures I’ve heard are accurate (and it now seems they are) I still think the poll might be a freak result. Still, that won’t stop it becoming part of the ever growing narrative about the Labour party in crisis, and in that sense this is horrific, hideous news for Labour.

65 Responses to “Conservatives break 50%?”

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  1. Mike,

    for the record i think both the chances of and chances of success of a Lib/Lab unity government are practically zero, but It is one of those desperate attempts that desperate people might just make.

    Another would be to change the subject, although not quite the Galtieri plan of invading the faklands to rally the public behind his faultering junta in economic hard times.

    Brown could switch from “The economy is in safe hands”, which people seriously doubt to something else. How about abolishing the House of lords in favour of an elected by PR Uk senate. That would be bold, headline grapping and make him look fresh and radical as well as probably appealing to both core Labour and Libdem voters.

    Like I say a unity government is highly unlikely but faced with almost inevitable defeat Governments do strange things and if they don’t want to just see out their time and go with a whimper they sometimes take risks.


  2. Nick Keene – Speaking from the middle, I completely agree with you.

    Labour’s 1997 belief in NHS investment chimed with the electorate.

    Cameron’s promise on the NHS started the Tory comeback the day after he took over.

    I think the electorate are still inclined towards state funding for free NHS treatment for everyone and will quickly bite Cameron’s lead off if he starts hinting at tax breaks for private insurance, or increasing ancillary charges.

    The events of the last week will have a huge impact on the future of “freedom” in the markets.T

    The Oracle should hang his head in shame for not predicting it.

  3. It is somewhat ironic that the Tories seek to make capital out of the crisis in the financial sector given that only 12 months ago they, spearheaded by John Redwood were pressing the government for greater deregulation of the maortgage market. Of course they seem to have gone a bit quiet of late on this for some reason. I think Labour really do need to exploit the enormous crdibility problem the Tories have on the economy but they do seem self-obsessed right now.

  4. Redwood was on The Daily Politics this morning. He wasn’t particularly quiet.

    The FSA gets it’s finger out at last by banning short selling from tonight.

    I wonder how the employees & shareholders of HBOS feel about that bit of regulatory timing?

  5. Peter, if Brown did something radical like abolishing the Lords, wouldn’t most people simply view it with suspicion? Wonder what he hopes to gain out of it and perhaps wonder where his mandate had come from to do something this radical!

  6. Something dramatic happening in USA. They have banned short selling too & a Federal Repository for bad mortgage debt is being proposed.

    DOW shot up by 400 points.Is this the turning point?

  7. ‘Peter, if Brown did something radical like abolishing the Lords, wouldn’t most people simply view it with suspicion? Wonder what he hopes to gain out of it and perhaps wonder where his mandate had come from to do something this radical!’

    I am interested in the argument; I think those able to be swayed would not view it that way. Those who change vote could easily see it as a vote to increase democracy in this country (with spin, perhaps); and, as such, an interesting ‘radical’ change and so drag at least some votes from all sides of the political spectrum (although less so for the Tories, but some might vote for this country having two democratically elected houses).

    If you want to pull the constitutional rabbit of the hat I would suggest
    1) An English Parliament
    2) All parts of the UK (NI, Wales, Scotland, England) having ‘national parliaments’ of equal powers. (I note that Federal Governments which is what this would be occur in Australia, South Africa, USA, France, Germany, etc… But would the UK ever make such a change; I doubt it as we too much love being an historic theme park BUT if a Government was in real trouble and went for constitutional logic…?
    3) An elected Upper House in Westminster

    I’ll go back to dreaming and I recognise this is wish fulfilment..:)

  8. Stephen (and Colin) – redwood himself produced a report last summer in which he criticised the tri-partite regime and suggested tightening regulations (Though his general thrust was in favour of free-market capitalism and small-state,low taxes).
    Harman quoted Osborne last night from last year on his desire to de-regulate the mortgage market (nothing to do with Redwood’s idea on the tri-partite thing)

    An excellent point was made on QT by the CEO of Next – we need greater supervision rather than more regulations (Which just lead to more regulation dodges)

  9. It is at times like these that we need to remember our droll British sense of humour and ability to treat the threat-real or imagined- of impending disaster with disdain.
    The hysterical over reaction of segments of our beloved media to any crisis can always be relied upon to provide entertainment mixed with a certain amount of irritation.
    Perhaps we should introduce a prize on this site for the most inane or ludicrous article or broadcast from an economics or business editor. My entry which I am sure others will better is Anatole Keletsky of the Times. For months in denial that the financial picture could impact on the broader economic outlook he has now gone overboard in the opposite direction and also seems to be casting doubt on the ability of Lloyds tsb to survive taking over HSBOS and saying it might end in the nationalisation of all the UK banks.
    For moving from ‘its all a storm in a teacup’ to ‘we are all doomed’ in one fell swoop I nominate Anatole for this months prize.

  10. I nominate Allister Heath for to-day’s editorial in City A.M. (Why It Was Wrong to Ban Short-Selling)

    Apparently the “greed of the short-sellers” is counter-balanced by “equally voracious” bargain-hunters, and this co-existence of, erm, “voracity” prevents shares from falling below fair value “for any significant length of time.”

    I wonder how many HBOS shareholders he ran that past before posting his copy?

  11. I have a question for Councillor Peter Cairns and it is this
    ” How in his much desired independent Scotland would the speculators who bought HBOS down have been stopped”

  12. “…ironic that the Tories seek to make capital out of the crisis in the financial sector given that only 12 months ago…”

    It depends on what deregulation; certainly, Tories (including a senior banker at Coutt’s) I know have been predicting a exacerbation of any downturn for years, based upon Labour’s reliance on borrowing and hidden borrowing (PFI) with concomitant expansion of personal borrowing.

    “But it’s all the Tories (and their partners worldwide) economic free market plans which is causing the collapse of capitalism….”

    Jack, one could quibble about what is and is not a Tory, but I don’t think that Greenspanism/Brownism is.
    Indeed, I see blatant manipulation of the markets via hidden borrowing and continuing politicised control of the interest rates.

  13. Back to the polls, I see YouGov/Telegraph results reports a reversal of the trend.

    Con: 44% (-2)
    Lab: 24% (-3)
    LD : 20% (+4)

    So the conferences are already shaking up the picture.

  14. johntt

    Yes you’re correct about the Conservative Party Competition Report-it did anticipate some of the oversight failures we have now seen.(Redwood was just a Panel Member-not the Author incidentally)

    In my opinion-having only recently re-read that Report, Harman quoted it-not Osborne. The short passage she read out is the totality of the text in that report on Mortgages.

    Two things occurred to me:-

    First the Report recommended de-regulation because the “risk is borne by the lender”. That assessment now seems very wide of the mark. Failed Borrowers have suffered-as have taxpayers-indeed the global economy.
    But perhaps Redwood et al could not have foreseen the tidal wave of cheap credit.Supervision should have seen it & stopped it.

    Second-Alan Duncan denied knowledge of the passage quoted by Harman. Either that was a lie from someone who must have been familiar with a key Party document-or he wasn’t aware of it. Either way I was very unimpressed-and a bit worried.

    I agree absolutely with the you & the Next CEO on the need for Supervision rather than more Regulation.

    An intelligent & informed “feel” for what is going on based on deep contact…rather than ticking boxes.

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