Unless there is anything still to come out before the Conservative conference begins and starts to have its own effect (or lack of) on the polls, the final post-Labour conference poll has appeared, this time from BPIX in the Sunday Telegraph. The topline figures, with changes from the last BPIX poll which was prior to the Lib Dem conference, are CON 43%(-4), LAB 31%(+7), LDEM 17%(+1).


38 Responses to “BPIX also show Labour boost”

  1. I think it can be seen now that the Labour conference has failed to revive Labour’s fortunes, despite the media hype over Brown’s supposed “speech of a lifetime”.

  2. I think reducing the Conservative lead by ten points or so is something of a revival to be honest. I’m not saying that the Tories won’t recover all that they’ve lost during their conference, but I think to label this a failure is to be slightly disingenuous. What is notable is that Labour are able to make gains at all, which may show how unstable the Conservative lead really is.

  3. Anthony,
    isn’t it true that BPIX aren’t a member of the British Polling Council?

    If not, why should we care about what they report?

  4. WMA 43:29:17 so pretty consistent picture, but BPIX on average tend to over-estimate the CLead by 2.

    Still looks like a dead cat bounce to me though.

  5. Nbeale – How far would the lead have had to reduce for you to suggest it was a “rogue” or outlier? This looks like a 50% cut in the lead to me.

  6. John tt,

    Or is that jontt…? As Mike Smithson often points out, and I am sure Anthony will concur, we know diddly-squat about who BPIX derives this information.

    Although YouGov collects the data for BPIX, their interpretation is most likely done with smoke-and-mirrors. Until BPIX conform to UK standards on polling and openness why bother reading into their work?

    And despite being in operation for a number of years, BPIX still don’t have a working web-site. Go figure…! ;)

  7. “Dead cat bounce”? Well of course it could be, but it could well be wishful thinking. You see, although the Tories will probably get a temporary boost from their conference too, the Labour Party Conference showed the first encouragement for the Party for pretty much a whole year. Gordon Brown has suddenly started to look like a Prime Minister, and this is unlikely to change just like that. The Party no longer appears to be dithering & defeatist, and it will take more than a good speech from David Cameron to change that too. Yes, sure the Tories will increase their lead again a bit, maybe even a few points, but the recent polls show that people are at least listening to the Labour Party again – they haven’t been for a long while – and that the Tories haven’t “sealed the deal” with the electorate yet. There are voters who are now ready to be convinced again; when I was out knocking up for the Mayoral election in May the experience was much bleaker. If I were a Tory I’d be wary of over-confidence. Sure the Tories are still ahead, but there’s 20 months to go yet and I think that the Conference saw the first faltering steps in Labour’s recovery. We looked like a basket case, now we are at least serious contenders again. Game on.

  8. “Sure the Tories are still ahead, but there’s 20 months to go yet and I think that the Conference saw the first faltering steps in Labour’s recovery. We looked like a basket case, now we are at least serious contenders again. Game on.”

    You can but live in hope. Do not forget we are not yet in a technical recession, although we have entered an NBER-defined recession. [Labour have increased regulation, quangos and Euro-dictatorship, but the crash still occurred!]

    We won’t have a drastic downturn – and I have never said we would – but we will have a recession. Most Labour astro-turfers must accept that Economics will never be their strong-point.

    Of course the world awaits a US bail-out. The demise of the US-century has, unfortunately, begun. Europe will not replace her, nor will China nor India.

    Time for the West to consolidate. Maybe Orwell’s vision is the only alternative…. :(

  9. ‘The demise of the US-century has, unfortunately, begun.’

    Unfortunately??????????? Some may say happily…

  10. This is my first foray into all of this and I must admit that the little I do read of the comments leave me a bit bewildered. The majority of of correspondents seem to be tories who are desperate to see them back after 11 years, or 13 when the poll has to take place.
    Most of them seem to be blind as to what has happened over the past 11 years, and see this time as nothing short of a complete disaster. I’m a Vicar in what was the “People’s Republic of South Yorkshire” working for all of this time in the largest council estate in Rotherham. Although the current regime has made mistakes and not everything in the regeneration garden is rosy, it is a different world to the pre – 1997 situation. We all remember real arrogance of Michael Howard, John Redwood and company and at times David Cameron doesn’t seem so different. The cynicism of the media will see the destruction of this nation, because no-one in their right mind will go into politics due to the fact that all, according to the media are out for themselves and no one has any altruistic motives.
    I have yet to hear of any policies from the tories which will give hope to the people that I represent and work with on a council estate. For that matter, I have heard very little of substance from any tories, full stop.
    Perhaps I’m biased and all the Bible’s talk about justice in pie in the sky? But perhaps the recent polls are a sign that the public are seeing a bit of reality.

    Steve M

  11. It’s all a bit strange: BPIX aren’t a member of the British Polling Council, and don’t publish details of their results, and have a website with no content that’s been ‘under construction’ for years, and don’t reply to emails (at least from me :-) ), and have a domain registration that claims the organisation is a non-trading individual. It’s a bit hard to come up with a reasonable explanation for it all, unless anyone is more imaginative than me…

  12. First impressions of the conservative conference was very positive and more meaty in plans and ideas.

    I’m expecting them to have an average lead over Labour of about 21 points in October. Call me over cautious, but I think that at this relatively early point even that would not be quite big enough to make a comfortable majority virtually certain. If the Conservatives have this lead next year in October then I will concede that it is virtually certain.

    I wonder whether Labour’s intention to put explicit pictures of a medical nature on all cigerette packets by October next year will undermine their popularity further.

    I don’t smoke but millions of people still do. Million more will be forced to look at these distasteful picture on a regular basis. I think this makes Labour appear extreme and excessive (accurately so in my opinion). Negative things which are regularly in one’s face can make a big impact on how people feel about the government.

  13. the tories have got the contract which say’s: in acting for her majistry QE2nd as the govenment of the united kingdom, but have not signed it yet and people seam to be very intrested in what labour say, for some reason don’t ask me why, they must be dumm or not understand the economy like the rest of us saine people who after 2001 & 2005 saw through the spin that is labour and voted for other parites that were standing. people must now listern to the view which most of all helps the country and a vote for the lib dems must still be a wasted one, if the govenment wins the next election people would need CT scans to find out why.

  14. “to label this a failure is to be slightly disingenuous.”

    No, I genuinely believe what I’m typing. Their conference has been a failure if by failure it is meant Labour haven’t recovered–which they haven’t. 12 points behind is not a recovery. To claim it is is pretty desperate.

    “people are at least listening to the Labour Party again – they haven’t been for a long while”

    I must say this is typical Labour arrogance. The people have been listening to Labour and they didn’t like what they heard. It’s not a ‘communication’ issue, it isn’t about ‘narratives’ (the new buzz word), it’s that people are currently tired of Brown’s government and would prefer a change.

  15. Why is everyone so anti-labour round here? Nicholas people may want change but most are VERY reluctant to vote tory and this has been proven by many polls. Also there have been so many people saying things like “oh this poll means nothing” etc, I really wish these people would shut up, the tories are far from winning the next general election and if they continue to perform like they have been recently they won’t be getting in in 2010 at all.

  16. Nicholas, closing the gap by 6-11 points in the space of a week is not a failure by any stretch of the immagination. Nobody would realistically expect to overcome a 20 point lead in a week.

    I sense the media, after a full year of attack on anything coming from Labour, are backing off a bit. Perhaps they realise that people are getting bored of this message and it rings a bit hollow. The past two weeks have shown the UK government is doing no worse than any other with regard to the credit crunch. They even led the world with temporary ban on short-selling financial stocks. And Northern Rock no longer looks like a debacle. Darling’s comment about the seriousness of the situation was right. The Tories now look like they complain whatever happens. And Brown’s comment that now is not the time for inexperience may have struck a chord.

    It’s doubtful that Brown could bounce back to the extent of winning a majority at the next general election, but a streak of good news over the next 12 months will see a significant Labour revival. Even a narrow win in Glenrothes would (bizarrely) look good. The recent fall in commodity prices should make the CPI fall next year. And the Bank would then be able to cut the base rate significantly, softening the effects of recession. It could all turn out sweet for Brown. But it’s largely out of his hands now. Interesting times…

  17. If the Conservatives can retrieve some ground (44-45), but Labour remains somewhat bolstered (30+), it seems likely the net damage could be to the Lib Dems, squeezed, in a more competitive looking scenario.
    I think there almost certainly will be the occasional poll in a few months showing them on 11, about the level at the end of Ming’s leadership.

  18. I agree with thealxweb these last three polls do mean something (and the couple of polls just after the Lib Dems conference). It reflects the uncertainy of at least 7% of the voting public.

    I voted for Blair’s New Labour the first two times. And they did some good things that the Conservatives would never have done. But while New Labour still had their faults, the present Labour leadership is living in cloud cuckoo land. Their egos have become so big there is hardly any room left for their brains.

    Indeed, I am willing to believe that most Labour MPs and activists are well meaning. But the well meaningness of the Labour party tends to lead to a kind of Nanny state. And this is not too bad when the Nanny listens to and understands their ‘children’ well and are wise and respectful to them, and are able to manage the household. But frankly the Nanny has gone just a little senile! Examples: abolishing the 10p starting rate, COMPULSORY education until the age of 18, most recently we are to be the only country in the EU whose government is going to have hundreds of millions of ugly intrusive medical pictures put on cigerette packets with the aim of making people feel good! And as for managing the household, after 10 years of growth we entered an economic downturn with the government more in debt than it has been for 10 years!

    Remember this FACT they are in power with only one fifth of the support of the adult population. And this one fifth voted for Labour having been led to believe that Blair would be PM for this duration. When Brown came into power he promised a new kind of leadership without spin (a heavy criticism of his predecessor and his first act of bungling stupidy). I think that morally he should have called an election but in my opinion thats the nature of christian morals, in the end its all about having power over people.

    I know this is rude but as for both the content and manner in which Brown speaks he may as well be speaking out of his bottom. The name Brown suits him!

    Labour began by seeking to incorporate the best traits of Conservativism with the best traits of Old Socialist Labour. But now they frequently display the worst traits of both so that even the Conservatives have become an attractive option again.

    I will be surprised if Labour get more than 32% of the voting population support for many years.

  19. In response to thealexweb

    “but most are VERY reluctant to vote tory”

    In the UK, parties do not require adsolute majorities to attain majorities, due to the FPP system. Tories need more votes, but the reasons for this are linked to the demographics of the Labour vote, the Boundary Commissions’ writs that real-time prediction of population trends and FPP. FPP also allows incumbency and local factors, perhaps blunting the surge beyond 50%.

    For reference, the Tories have averaged higher than Labour since Labour became the 2nd party and were the last party to score an absolute majority of votes cast. (Commits the ultimate crime of referencing Wikipedia – link)

  20. I hope that we are not going through another outburst by weak kneed Tories frightened by a small boost for the Labour Party.

    Labour are finished as a political entity in this country – there is no revival , just desperate people finally seeing their “scarlet pimpernel” Prime Minister being seen over the conference season.

    All will be back to normal within a week in the POLLS. As for people saying that they don’t know what the Tories stand for obviously have selective hearing and only hear the propaganda put out by Labour.

    The country are still waiting for the Vision that Mr.Brown promised this tie last year.

  21. thealexweb (and others) – some threads do get over-populated by partisan commenters, but mostly there’s a reasonable mix.

    Clearly the Tories are not yet in the same position as New Labour where before the 1997 landslide. Personally, I don’t mind (skim)-reading the remarks of people who think it’s in the bag for Cameron.

    I’d like to know more about the public reaction to Osborne’s quango idea for “monitoring” the banks. I suspect it will be panned in the media, and there’ll be a few juicy stories about whose pockets our bail-out money is lining.

  22. Could we have some attempt at psephology on this site please? The comments of Stuart Gregory, Mike Richardson and in this instance Philip JW are purely partisan and have no reference to psephology whatsoever. I make no attempt to disguise the fact that I’m a Labour Party activist, but at least my comments are to do with the polls, not purely partisan guff. If we keep having such comments unedited either by the writer or by you, Anthony, the site could be in danger of losing its reputation as one which comments on polls, and will be known as a forum for Tories to say how well they’re bound to do no matter what happens. Comments such as “Labour are finished as a political entity in this country” are not appropriate to this site in the current circumstances, and even David Cameron would be very unlikely to agree with them. Please let’s have at least some attempt at serious comment on the current political situation. Some of you are spin doctors not pseophologists.

  23. ‘Labour are finished as a political entity in this country – there is no revival , just desperate people finally seeing their “scarlet pimpernel” Prime Minister being seen over the conference season.’

    You really are irritating Mike–how can you see into the future? Try winning the lottery then I might believe in your self proclaimed arrogant ‘oracle’ nonsense. I agree totally with Barnaby; this should be a place solely for a discussion of polls and the statistical implications, not a place for wish fulfilment. Could people who wish to indulge solely in partisan comment go away?

  24. I think I agree with Barnaby that some of the comments have lapsed in appropriateness, but I think it’s better to call for self-moderation than the high hand of authority (the next step would be closed commentary and that’s bad).

    So while I’d call for some more relevance I’m sure we can be more generous to the offenders and ask for them to respond with some more details of clarification to their insight.

    Having listened to the Conservative front bench speak in Birmingham I felt they came across as quite stilted, unnatural and condescending.

    I’m sure what they said was well-meant but their manner of delivery was unconvincing and left me with an unnerving sense of distrust.

    Perhaps that is just their backgrounds, but I wonder how much they reflect the aspirations or the reality of the wider populace.

    I also wonder about their claims to openness and transparency considering their bouyant party finances swollen with record levels of corporate donations and whether how this reflects on their connection with the general public and their claims to be able to act in our interests (especially during tough times for the economy).

    So I think it is an extremely fair question to ask whether the Conservative peak poll rating so far out from the next election is a wave in the making or just a ripple which will never reach the shore.

  25. Self-evidently this site is about polls – hence its name. Those who are using it simply to air their own narrow poliltical prejudices will surely only alienate the more thoughtful contributors who are keeping within appropriate parameters. The week’s polls are clearly showing a rise in Labour’s support. By the end of the week we shall know whether it is a temporary improvement or one that is sustainable and able to continue to grow.

  26. To show that I am not aiming my remarks merely at Conservative supporters, I have to say that while I might well agree with Thomas he too has made what are rather partisan remarks. What I personally, or Thomas personally, think(s) about the Conservative front bench matters not a jot, except insofar as it affects the situations in the opinion polls, and of course the real polls in the ballot box. Let’s confine all our remarks to analysis or attempted analysis of such polls, not whether we think the Tories, Labour & the rest are the best thing since sliced bread. And that surely goes for all of us. Not just the Tories (I presume) I mentioned in my earlier contribution.

  27. The Labour Party have retrieved some ground I think because the economy is being seen as more of an internation crisis that we have been hit by.
    Personally, I don’t subscribe entirely to that view, but repetition does sometimes work – it may have got them nowhere until now.

    The challenge for the Conservatives is to spell out more of what they would do this week, to get back into the mid 40s.

  28. On the BPIX point, I have no knowledge atall about what their qualifications are, but they are producing roughly similar results to the others, so I think it is a useful cross check.

  29. Sorry Barnaby, but that’s where you show some inconsistency. I don’t have a party axe to grind, I only offer some personal impressions on areas which I think may be influential in the public mind.

    I think part of the reason Cameron’s polling support is percieved as weak is because questions remain over whether he is ‘in touch’. Maybe he can’t change his background but he can certainly supply more information about his party policies and finances and until he does so it can’t be concluded that any majority has been cemented.

  30. OK, maybe I was slightly unfair – after all your contribution Thomas wasn’t a pro-Labour diatribe, and wasn’t in the same class as Stuart’s & Mike’s “Labour are crap, Tories are great, ra ra ra” stuff. I personally don’t think that an attack on Cameron’s background/image,or that of other Tory frontbenchers, would help the Government, and I’ve said so at Labour Party events. What would help Labour more is a concentrated effort to put the Tories on the spot on issues such as the economy – would they really have let Northern Rock go to the wall? Do they really think that the free market offers any solution to the current problems? and so on. I think that the Tories are in danger of appearing out of touch, not because of their class background, but by sticking to free-market solutions at this of all times which will appear to many voters as keeping their heads in the sand. Whether I suffer from a degree of mistrust, or indeed whether Thomas does, in the Tory front bench isn’t the point. The point is, do the Tories have the policies for the current situation? If people think they haven’t, then their lead will seem more fragile than it has for a long while.

    Also, when I said that people weren’t listening to Labour, what I really meant was the people were disgusted with the Government’s policies, and that they weren’t interested in anything Labour had to say. I don’t think that can be construed as “Labour arrogance” – especially not from that particular source. Sometimes politicians say “Our message was correct, but we didn’t present it properly.” I definitely wasn’t saying that. Until very recently people were all in favour of positively kicking Labour out, but I now think that the mood has changed quite a bit even though I fully acknowledge the Tories are still quite a way ahead.

  31. Thank you Barnaby – “Let’s confine all our remarks to analysis or attempted analysis of such polls, not whether we think the Tories, Labour & the rest are the best thing since sliced bread” is exactly what the comments here are all about, ditto – “I make no attempt to disguise the fact that I’m a Labour Party activist, but at least my comments are to do with the polls, not purely partisan guff”.

    Others please feel free to follow Barnaby’s lead!

  32. We have been through a learning curve with inflation.
    I was opposed to the ERM in what it was actually for, however,
    it succeeded in killing the inflationary mentality in Britain, and we were kicked out at the right time.
    A sensible policy was followed from September 1992 with inflation targeting.

    The Labour Party did the right thing making the Bank independent in 1997, but the remit of the Monetary policy committee should have been widened.
    The only real tool is interest rates, so it is important to include the right information when setting them.

    More needed to be done to monitor credit indicators and the housing market, because although the central measure was meeting the targets, other distortions were at play.

  33. I think Anthony, some of the people who complain about partisan posts are often at it the most.(not Barnaby, hello Barnaby).

  34. Hello Joe, interesting point, have never considered you guilty of such heinous crime as I earlier described. :)

  35. I agee with Joe James B that some of the people who complain most about partisan posts are actually the worst culprits. Everyone has a view which will to some extent colour their judgement about what the polls are saying but unfortunatly some folk are unable to strike any semblance of balance or objectivity.They need to grow up.
    So what are the polls saying?

    1 There is -whether Nbeale likes it or not -a halving of the massive Tory lead which recent history suggests could be short lived but we won’t know about that until well ino next month at the earliest.
    2 The crisis on Wall Street, the takeover of HBOS and above all the nationalisation of Bradford and Bingley may however prolong the slight Labour revival. There were times I recall that the Northern Rock affair caused a swing back to Labour until the issue disappeared from the headlines. What does that tell us? Well perhaps it is the case that in times of crisis and near panic people want to hold onto nurse for fear of something worse but once the scare has subsided to the level of a dullache rather than a sharp headache they then go back to moaning about nurse.
    3 The speed with which the Lib Dem conference ‘bounce’ vanished should be a salutary reminder to those who read too much into snap polls taken after the party conferences. However it is human nature to cling to straws and you can’t blame party supporters for doing so BUT they are taking a heck of a risk with their credibility!
    Time will tell.

  36. It seems we are seeing a closing of the gap but will this be sustained? The events of recent days seem to be attracting people back to Labour and now there is a funding row that could damage the Tories and is evidence that the media seems to have decided they want a new narrative to change from the Labour is finished story.

  37. I’m not sure the Conservstives should be too worried about the slight fluctuations we’re seeing at the moment. The fact is they have seen, in both polls and actual by election results, that as much as half of the electorate are now ‘willing’ to vote for them!

    They simply could not have dreamt of any more than a third of the vote for pretty much this entire decade prior to the last year or so.

    What these polls tell me is that on top of their permenant ‘core vote’ many more people have, over time, forgotten/forgiven the Tories for for their prior percieved ‘sins’.

    This was the job that Cameron et al set out to do and now, at the very least, there is a level playing field for the electorate!

  38. There has been some – perhaps marginal – damage on the economy where they have come under scrutiny, and, as I’ve acknowledged, people looking to the people in charge as this perceived international crisis hits.

    My own view is I can’t think why – if the Tories do make it to government in May 2010, they will almost certainly be faced with the largest public sector deficit in British history.