With ComRes in the Independent showing the Tory lead symbolically dropping into single figures… but not actually collapsing that much, a second poll for BPIX in the Mail on Sunday shows no obvious signs of a Labour boost at all.

The topline figures, with changes from the BPIX poll in the Sunday Telegraph conducted after the Labour conference, are CON 46% (+3), LAB 30%(-1), LDEM 13%(-3). The Lib Dems show the same drop we have seen across the board, but the Conservative lead is growing. The poll was conducted between the 16th and 18th of October, so was actually conducted slightly later in a period when the media narrative is in flux. That could explain the different trends here – or there could be something else going on. We don’t know the methodology of BPIX, so we can’t say if there is a noticable contrast between the way ComRes and BPIX weighted their polls. As always, we should always be wary when one poll shows something that doesn’t match the trend elsewhere – it could be the first sign of a shift in opinion, or it could be a rogue poll.

The underlying figures in the BPIX poll are still positive for Brown. More than half thnk he has handled the present crisis well and Brown has overtaken Cameron in terms of being seen as strong, realistic, dignified and honest (though still trails hm as being attractive, optimistic, charismatic, caring and patriotic). This just doesn’t seem to have been reflected in voting intentions.

31 Responses to “But no Brown boost from BPIX”

  1. WellIi’ll be consistant and say that, as before, I’ve always found BPIX erratic, so I’ll wait and see if the bounce is over for Brown.


  2. Anthony – is there any past evidence of a lag between headline voting intentions and underlying questions on trust, competance etc? I’m wondering whether if these underlying questions are moving ahead of the headline, we may see a little more movement in due course.

  3. Peter, I think BPIX usually come out close to YouGov. I would expect the next YouGov to show the Tories back into the mid 40’s%

    Anthony, what should we make of that odd question/result if there was an “EMERGENCY” election? Tories come out cose to where they are in the traditional question, but Labour are +9 on where they are in the traditional question. Should we just discount it as an odd question giving an odd result?

  4. Despite my loathing for Cameron, I will be voting Tory in the GE – it’s the best chance we have of getting the Scots to vote for Independence.
    My gift to Scotland. Straight from the heart.

  5. The longer the story continues to be about the economy, the more Brown’s bounce will drop away. If the narrative moves on quickly, I think Brown might be able to harden up some of this support with some populist announcements.

  6. We don’t know if this is a genuine result from BPIX in that this question was asked first in their survey . They also asked a voting intention question on an emergency GE held on the economy . If that question was asked first it would effect the response to a qusetion as to GE held under “normal” conditions . It is thus important to know the details of the actual question(s) asked and their order and wording but this is BPIX so we are not going to find out .

  7. Don’t the polls usually ask “if a GE were held tomorrow”? If so it is understandable that most people would be responding as “if an emergency GE were held” So it is quite credible that the electorate would be more likely to vote Brown now and Cameron later

    Having said which BIPX and ComRes are both a bit erratic – we should see some more polls.

  8. In terms of positive publicity in recent weeks Brown should be feeling that Christmas has come early. Is this an attempt by the media to keep the contest interesting?

    A lot of it though is probably due to the media and the political parties being behind the decision to bail out the banks. But we have just begun to see the focus moving elsewhere. And it is hard to see how Labour can maintain this level of positive publicity and the positive momentum that comes with it.

    With difficult tax and spending decisions to be made their popularity is more likely to sink than rise further.

    The Lib Dems have been overlooked as the two big boys of politics fight it out. But still when the elections comes the media usually give them their fair share of attention, and it is that poll which in the end counts.

  9. Yes polls usually start with an if there were a GE tomorrow question , they don’t start with an if there were an emergency GE on the economy question . As so often in opinion polls the result is at least in part by the wording of the question . Hence in the big marginals poll , the improved LibDem position in LibDem marginals when the voters were reminded that they were in a LibDem marginal seat .
    Incidently the Comres weighting by past vote is again erratic in this latest poll this time to the main detriment of Labour and slightly the LibDems and benefits the Conservatives and Others .

  10. Mark – not really on topic, but the big PoliticsHome poll didn’t actually tell people that their seat was a Lib Dem marginal (I don’t like those questions, they assume that everyone will have an accurate perception of who is in contention in their own seat, when we know they don’t). We just asked people to consider their own seat, what the position was, and who was likely to stand – that alone gave the Lib Dems a huge boost in seats where they were in contention, no prompting by their party name was necessary!

    GIN – you’d probably need to see the actual wording of the question to judge it correctly I’m afraid.

  11. I’m inclined to think that this poll is a rogue as it seems out of step with other recent polls. However the the Tories may have got a boost from Cameron’s attack on Brown and it looks like the Tories appear to be getting more proactive after a short period of silence.

  12. Anthony , I stand cprrected but you make my point wven more so . Woding of questions is most important .

  13. oops especially if they contain a spelling error

  14. Mark – I thought you’d appreciated being told that a poll was better for the Lib Dems than you’d thought! :)

  15. Until BPIX joins the British Polling Council it is completely fair to dismiss everything they say as astroturf, that their ‘research’ has been published in the MoS only goes further to delegitimise any conclusions reached by either organisation.

  16. Thomas, that is pure conspiracy theory nonsense.

    I find the daily Mirror to be generally a good waste of paper for toilet rolls but I don’t for a second believe they would publish a made up poll!
    There is no evidence any of the mainstream media have cheated in their presentation of polling data (in this country at least).

  17. Not at all. Shall we discuss the BPIX methodology and whether or not it creates fair and impartial results?

  18. thomas,

    Fancy you challenging a poll that has the LibDems at 13%. I don’t think that BPIX are unfair or not impartial, just erratic.


  19. the lib dems have been out of the fight for some time now and i see no way back for them however at election time people change their minds and i still think brown may come to the conclusion that its time to go to the country what ever happens he’s finished at an election my prediction is that the labour party will still finish on around 25% or less of the vote and the conservatives will finish up with around 48-50% the lib dems on around 15% and the loss of most of their seats. seats prediction CON 400+ LABOUR UNDER 160 AND LIB DEMS under 20 seats.

  20. Peter,
    you’re indulging in inverted reasoning again. That’s slanderous.

    I don’t think it is possible to judge whether BPIX are (as you say) simply erratic, or potentially acting with malicious intent, unless they are capable of complying with BPC criteria – which they have yet to show they can do. As this remains to be seen, we should remain cautiously sceptical about any evidence they provide.

    FWIW I am independent floating voter, which means I tend to be more sympathetic towards all third parties in their ability to criticise than is otherwise usual, rather than being for any one party analysis specifically. Since I’m not necessarily antipathetic to the arguments of any side, and because I think it is to the benefit of the discussion to have a balanced view, it is logical that I more often than not take the minority view here – don’t confuse non-antipathy with sympathy.

  21. Dreadful figure for the Lib Dems.
    Perhaps they’ll get rid of their leader.

  22. It remains to be seen whether Labour now has a chance afterall, and can build on
    chipping away,
    or whether
    the Tories regain big figures as the attention focuses on domestic economy
    away from the international drama of the banks.

  23. JJB,
    if that is how conservatives react then Cameron will already be looking over his shoulder just in case he doesn’t seal the deal. Do the Conservatives have anyone else lined up in their academy of talent primed and ready to take over in case of the unexpected?

    I think you inadvertently raise an interesting question over whether it is your leader, your party policy positions or the masses of money being pumped in beefing up local electioneering efforts which is responsible for the rise in conservative polling rates during Cameron’s leadership – if it is just about the leader and there is nobody qualified or capable to replace him then the Cons are flying without a safety net – the public will notice this.

  24. The Conservatives have been stronger over the last three years for a variety of reasons of course, some to do with the problems a government hits after a long spell in office, a feeling that people are being over-taxed and not getting value, the weakness of the LDs, and various changes the party has made itself.
    Outside the remit of the thread really.

  25. JJB,
    If Cameron’s relative strength is a reflection of Labour weakness due to leadership fatigue then this doesn’t bode well for him.

    The LibDems have always been weak (as you regularly state) and there is a constant underlying feeling of being overtaxed and recieving litle of equal value in return.

    Other than Cameron himself becoming leader, the change of brand logo to a tree from the torch and the increased funding of local party organisation (round my way it is reported that the Tories have professionalised their leaflet delivery network by paying non-members because volunteers were unreliable) what exactly are the ‘various changes’ the party has made? Does this actually amount to any real change?

    From my perspective it appears Cameron is walking a knife edge between telling traditional hard-core right-wingers that nothing has changed other than their electoral fortunes, while telling everyone else that everything has changed even if nobody can put their finger on exactly what.

    While the poll ratings have so far been favorable, there is an underlying danger that this could rebound (as it did under Blair’s Labour – Cameron did claim to be his heir…) – tory membership levels are already dropping as it becomes less relevant and some long-term passive supporters are alienated by the triangulation strategy.

    I suggest the Conservatives are looking at the short-term, and in doing so are building up problems for the future. I see this refelcted clearly in the polls.

  26. This is getting off at a tangent.

    Best to keep your points more logical and short.

  27. Whatever the result of this POLL – be it accurate or a rogue POLL – it is a precursor to POLLS that are just around the corner – too much Brown on the TV can also be a turn off for people.

    Interesting to see this week Bush accompanied by 2 European leaders but no Brown in view – mmmmm !Could this be the other big western nations taking exception to Brown claiming the credit for the recent discussions and plans ?

  28. It’s a bit like a failed attempt to take credit for level crossing safety.

  29. Hey STUART GREGORY – those are very accurate predictions (could’nt argue with them at all) , you’ll be taking my crown as the best political predictor on this site (or anywhere).

  30. Mike,
    look at the colours of the politicians involved and you’ll see a political divide. You can’t honestly claim foreign politics is objective!

    This crisis is internationalising the political debate as national interests coalign, so we may need to broaden our horizons to see where the next movement is coming from.

  31. Are (Brown and Cameron) devious, untruthful, taking ALL the credit and going public on TV with good news but not to be seen when news is bad, caring only for his poll ratings rather than the welfare of the country? These are questions the pollsters should ask, because that is what the public are asking themselves.