Since the YouGov poll I thought might have surfaced yesterday didn’t, the first post-Conservative conference poll is in fact from from ICM in the Guardian, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday (presumably the fieldwork began after Cameron’s speech, though the Guardian are not specific about it).

The topline figures, with changes from ICM’s poll a week ago, are CON 42%(+1), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 17%(-1). There is obviously no significant boost in the Conservative score here from their rather overshadowed conference, but their lead in ICM’s poll has moved back up into double figures as Labour’s own conference boost subsides.

ICM also found that 55% of people thought that Gordon Brown was handling the present economic situation well, compared to 39% saying he has performed badly. This does suggest he is coming out of the present crisis well, though not well enough to actually lead in economic preferences – Cameron and Osborne still narrowly lead Brown and Darling as the best team, 37% to 35%.

23 Responses to “First post Conservative Conference Poll”

  1. Yes, the government has caught up somewhat over the economy which is still reflected in this.
    The voting figures, however, are quite good for the Tories as ICM seems to put them a shade lower,
    and this is a rather bad poll for the Liberal Democrats, ICM sometimes have them highest.

  2. There you go again, JJB.

    This clearly shows the post-conference bounce for Cameron is much weaker than for either Brown or Clegg.

    Is this a tidal change, or were earlier polls overstating Conservative popularity?

  3. It’s actually their second lowest score from ICM since Clegg became leader – though of course, we’re just after 2 weeks of solid publicity for Labour and the Conservatives so give things chance to settle.

  4. These Polls are fascinating. What I have found of considerable interest is The Sun’s seemimg change of narrative, post Tory Conference, they also seem to back Boris’s ousting of Sir Ian from the Met. Whislt I am not an avid Sun reader, I guess they hold reasonable infleunce. I have heard a few politcal commentators in the last days also sating that at the beggining of a crisis people generally prefer the experience card. If however hard times really bite and affect Jo public they will seek the change candidate. I guess Gordon must be hoping the econonmic downturn can be naviagted successfully. His future polling and career will likely depend on our exposure and his handling of the economic crisis and its fall out on Jo public. I guess as Gordon is perceived to succeed or as the public are squeezed the Lab-Con difference will reduce or increase considerably in the coming months.

  5. This is not a bad poll for the Conservatives by any means, but given how far we were behind I suspect most Labour members would have settled for this position after the Tory conference. Most polls suggested a 20-point Tory lead before the conference season, one even suggested a whopping 28 ; these sort of figures while still not very good for Labour do provide some serious hope. In fact the Tory lead isn’t any bigger than in the ComRes poll taken immediately after Labour’s conference, so I think it’s fair to say that at the moment Labour is at least back in the picture even though obviously plenty more ground needs to be made up for the party to be truly competitive in a general election.

  6. In the Conservatives, we are still not quite out of the wood on managing the economy – ironic as it might seem to us.
    Everyone agrees that we need to wait and see how all this pans out a bit longer.

  7. The average Tory lead in the ICM polls taken since last Easter have been in the order of 14%- which incidently is far from the 20% reported in other polls -so this latest ICM poll lead of 12% is hardly indicative of any significant change in the mood of the voters. Claims by diehard Labour supporters that the financial crisis is some sort of ‘game changer’ are just plain wishful thinking taken to new levels.
    The fundementals have not changed and with the pain of the recession yet to come the outlook for Labour remains desperate.

  8. ICM has given the Tories the odd disappointing poll even over the last year, when others have not, so, although all this is within the margin of error, 12% appears pretty healthy, despite the experience/struck by outside events card.

    But maybe the race has tightened a bit for the longer term run up to the election.

  9. “But maybe the race has tightened a bit for the longer term run up to the election.”

    Yes it seems so.
    Brown is receiving reasonably deserved Polling points for being “up front” on the economy.

    GB’s “war cabinet” for the economy-complete with The Prince of Darkness is a clear sign that he accepts the inevitability of recession in UK.

    Whether his GOAT approach to managing the economic problems will produce results and/or Poll support remains to be seen.

    The press slated GB over Mandelson at this evenings Press Conference.

    I don’t think this is ipso facto good news for Cameron.

    Mandelson is a shrewd politician and a good communicator.He can do some damage-but he can also implode.

    The political landscape is changing rapidly.

    How will the Tories respond?

  10. I wonder when we will get third quarter GDP figures.
    Some years ago (1990s), they wouldn’t release the official figure until about 5 weeks after the quarter ended, but would give a provisional one.

    They now seem to release them quicker.

  11. There is a YouGov out now with first questions about voting intentions. Probably looking to catch the impact of The Sun’s “He’s Ready” editorial and the sacking of Blair by Boris – yes, I know technically he didn’t, but he used that Bully Pulpit to maximum effect.

  12. Two best quotes I have heard about the reshuffle are :

    A Government of former Talents,
    A 1997 tribute band.

    Its disappointing for us anyway in some ways, but to say we were drowned out at the Conference and that the ecomony tanking was supposed to spell electoral game change, 12 points is pretty good.

    Brown dealing with the current crisis well might not be the same as holding him responsible for causing it or not having any cash in the bank to deal with its after effects.
    Lets face it, the real ecomony hasn’t felt the force yet and Brown’s ‘I am getting on with the job’ might not sound so good when others are losing theirs.
    Presumably those figures are for ‘people’ rather than voters anyway.
    How they would split amongst voters is all that matters electorally.

    Nick Palmer reckons it was done Wednesday/Thursday, so some of the data will have been collected before Cameron’s speech hit the news and that was about the only thing that got any airtime.

    As an aside, I wondered in the current circumstances, what the effect of asking how you would vote if there was an election TOMORROW was, when you are in the middle of a short term car crash [or in this case stock market crash].
    Would some give a different answer if you asked them who they would vote for in a months time?

  13. I agree with Mike B that at the beginning of a crisis people generally prefer the experience card.

    But what happens at the middle and end of the crisis? That is when the election will be, in 2010.

    As for ICM, we have to compare before-and-after, like-for-like. For several months now, ICM have averaged a 15% (14-16%, with one 20%, since May) polling lead for the Tories. Now it’s 12%, so still a bit down, but not hugely.

    YouGov, on the other hand, were around 20% (19-22%) but lately they reported a mid-conference 10%. I’ll be interested in how that pans out in the next month or 2, especially if the quarterly growth report is negative.

  14. as we get back to normal things will ballance out again,most of the reaso why their was not a poll boost for the conservatives was publisity not much of it for them it was all on labour, which ment no one heard about the proposed cut in corparation tax to 25% or the proposed scraping of the regional quangos, its hard to be heard when what your trying to say is being overshadowed by (what about the economy mr.brown)

    and (if we go live to the us parliment now we can see the delagages voting) well woopey do, so what if it were me just to go off track a bit i would let the market rot, and then repair its self not us pumping more money into it, but this all over shoddowed the conservative conferance.

  15. I think what the various crises are showing is how much the two main parties are one man bands. How many people know who Margaret Beckett is let alone could state anything she’s done?

  16. In 2005 and 2007 it took until November for Labour to drop significantly in the polls. After a bigger boost for Labour than expected we may find it taking until then to get down to averaging 25%.

    There are a number of things I think enabled Labour get this boost:

    Demands for a leadership challenge subsided during the conference. The rules regarding nominations for a leadership seemed have done the job they were probably meant to do.

    On the eve of the conference we had J.k. Rowlings million pound donation with the criticism that the Conservatives would do worse on child poverty.

    The headline, “No time for a novice.” And the kiss to show that under that frequently sour face does beat a human heart.

    And what has hindered the Conservatives from hitting straight back with their own equally big bounce is the distraction of the billion pound bale out for American banks.

    In October we will have the new road tax system which Brown said would mean the majority would be paying less. But this was exposed on TV to be false and that the opposite is expected to be true. Added to this the scepticism that green taxes are an excuse to raise the level of tax people have to pay.

  17. So since 17/8 –

    Tories -2
    Labour +1
    LD -2.

    Not much change really. And that will bring relief to the Tories.

    When ‘recession’ replaces the ‘credit cruch’ will be when things get interesting for Gordon Brown.

  18. I watched some of the briefing about the reshuffle and the economy today, Gordon Brown’s seriousness was somewhat reassuring except he banged on about being serious a little too much, which is a little hard to take seriously, the “economy war council” sounds like another pointless quango which will convince few that he can actually do anything positive economically right now, Darling sounded less convincing but perhaps that’s his job. As for Mandelson I’m astonished to see him back again.

    As regards the polls perhaps people have accepted a global credit crunch isn’t entirely the UK government’s fault, and the Conservative ideas for preventing it may not help or else be not too popular in the short term: perhaps they wonder what difference a Conservative government right now would make to the current situation other than possibly somewhat lower taxes.
    ie, would things be better. It is hard to know.

    As the three main parties are fairly similar in outlook, it’s more to do with what politicians say as to who does well in the polls, and they’ve done a lot of such talking recently.

  19. How “big” is this so called world crisis – it seems to be very much UK & USA bound to me – with odd other countries feeling a slight effect – the 2 biggest culprits are the UK & USA.

    Of which Brown & Bush should take full responsibility & not keep saying “global” to push blame away.

    All Labour have done by taking on Beckett & Mandelson is to shoot themselves in the foot once again – they must have a suicide pact or something !! Look out for the anti Mandelson people coming out of the woodwork over the coming weeks and the media having a field day.

    That 20% gap in the POLLS will now come even quicker than i predicted in my last contribution !!

  20. To me – the Tories could have saved a lot of money being spent on a conference – all they had to do was wait for Brown to trip up again – and he has today with the reshuffle / me thinks “more of the same” with this reshuffle and the old faces that got us here in the first place !

    It’s quite apt really that the Tories changed the “novice” statement by Labour into “no vice” – does that apply to Mandelson ??

  21. Mike, It might be best if you don’t post until you’ve slept it off next time.

    Obviously, as most of us know, the true effects of the conference season, if any, is in a few weeks. The idea that this or the Telegraph poll are the final summary is inaccurate because it is in the immediate aftermath of the Tory conference.

    I think people’s perception of the performance of the government and real life experiences will be more important than the reshuffle per se, but if the reshuffle means the cabinet gets more effective then it is worth doing.

    That’s a long winded way of saying : “Wait and see”

  22. I forgot to mention another possible reason for the Labour bounce, in the last few weeks the rebate to the 10p tax rate has started appearing in pay packets, no doubt if this is the case then it will vanish as soon as the gas bills go up.

  23. Mike,

    The “Credit Crisis” may be most pronounced in the USA and UK, but it is by no means absent elsewheree. It is a global problem – as countries as different as Abu Dhabi and Ukraine can testify.

    Just in case anyone is in any doubt about the global impact – look at the recent bank failures in Iceland, Belgium and yes, even Germany.

    However, to date it has been primarily a financial sector problem raher than a “real economy” problem, hence it has been most obvious in New York and London – the two largest financial centres in the world.

    However, bank failures will feed through into the real economy, and we will see a wide spread of countries falling into recession – as Denamrk and Eire already have, and as the entire Euro-zone is likely to report in just a few weeks.

    Much of the government intervention to date has resemmbled sticking a finger in the dyke wall. It is only putting off the inevitable collapse.

    Pulling in the belt – whether private, corporate or public – may bring about a vicious cycle, but for all that, is still needed.