Following on from ICM’s poll on Saturday, Sunday’s Observer also features a poll showing an increase in Conservative support following the PBR. The Ipsos MORI poll has topline figures, with changes from MORI’s last poll conducted a fortnight ago, of CON 43%(+3), LAB 32%(-5), LDEM 15%(+3).

MORI’s previous poll, as you may remember, famously showed the Conservative lead cut down to only 3 points. That may have been something of an outlier – the Lib Dem figure of only 12% was particularly difficult to believe – and hence the very large shift in this poll may be exaggered, but all the same it suggests a swing back towards the Conservatives since the PBR.

There don’t seem to be any fieldwork dates in the Observers coverage of the poll, though it does make clear it was conducted after the PBR.

83 Responses to “MORI too show a post-PBR boost for the Tories”

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  1. The write up says: “conducted on Thursday and Friday”

  2. Ooo yeah baby!!!!!

  3. The question is ….those that said the previous Mori was a rogue, is this less of a rogue because you are happier with the result.

    Looks like the PBR has not gone down too well, however, I think Brown is playing long term, any positives from the PBR if they appear will take time to filter through. With regards Green I cannot see the public particularly being bothered. With what the majority of the public think of MP’s do you really think they will feel for one of them being arrested. The only people that will be bothered will be people who are active in politics, and that is not that many compared to yesteryear.

    Will have to wait for a few more polls to see if this is a swing back to the Conservatives. If the next poll out is from a pollster who currently shows the Conservatives are double digit leaders but shows a fall in the lead, it would make the underlying trend even harder to fathom.

  4. TONY JONES said “With regards Green I cannot see the public particularly being bothered. With what the majority of the public think of MP’s do you really think they will feel for one of them being arrested. ”

    That is a very sad comment and very wrong in more than one way – this time Labour have gone too far and have put a chill down the back of many people in this country – even more so as the Tories don’t give up on this episode and the media dig deeper – this will most certainly add to the eventual demise of Labour after the next election.

    As for this latest POLL – the only word to use is “inevitable”, it was going to happen – it was just when !

  5. So far. three post PBR polls (including the latest Populus poll) have shown public opinion swing to the Conservatives. Assuming that all three polls dont have the same members of the public within them, this suggests that the Brown bounce is filtering out and the wheels on the Labour wagon are becoming wobbly once again.
    We still have yet to see how the Damien Green fiasco has truely affected the polls. Although I agree with Tony Jones that MPs aren’t usually taken to the public heart, it is the manner in which Green was questioned that is more worrying, As he has stated that he and other MPs of all political hues have always leaked details to the media as a matter of public interest, the public may worry that we are becoming more of paranoid police state under this Labour regime.
    Personally, I can also see Labour frantically adopting many of the fiscal suggestions made by the ‘Do-Nothing Party’ in order to patch up their PBR nightmare – Oh, how that comment will come back to bite Brown in the nether regions! But whatever is desperately shoe-horned into the Queen’s speech, the die has already been cast – New Labour is dead and welcome back to 1970s Labour politics, complete with beer & sandwiches with belligerent unions, rampant unemployment and massive debt!

  6. @ Tony Jones – it’s less of a “rogue” because its findings are more in line with several other recent polls and, especially, the post-PBR ones to date. A drop in the Tories’ lead to just 3 points always looked a bit extreme, even alongside a small number of other single digit findings. Had that sort of figure continued to be returned, of course one would have had to accept it as a significant swing. But on the evidence so far, that seems not to be the case after all.

    I’ll be interested to see how the Damian Green disaster affects the polls. A lot of people seem very angry about his arrest, including a lot of nominally Labour voters.

  7. WMA 43:33:16 so the CLead which dipped to 8 on the 16th does seem to be increasing a bit, although it is possible that this is all a statistical artefact.

    Toby seems new to this forum and whilst welcoming any new voices I should remark that the idea that different pollsters have consistent biases is not well supported by the data. With the exception of BPIX which does have a 2 pt pro-C “bias” all the others have a deviation from the WMA that is on average <+/-0.7% and a Std of 2.5-3% with a broadly similar picture if you look at deviations from Retrospectives (although on that basis Ipsos/Mori shows a slightly higher anti-C bias of 1.1).

    In short, the errors caused by different methodologies appear (apart from BPIX) to be random and much less than the sampling error in each individual poll.

  8. re Green, the public will now know that if an opposition MP can not sleep safely in his bed without getting a morning dawn raid noone is immune. There is probably someone in Cheltenham going through these posts now filtering out the anti-government ones and making a record. Abit extreme maybe or maybe not! but once on a slippery slide it is difficult to get off.

    re polls, again the Tory 40% looks fairly solid, even through this Brown bounce. Bet Gordon is pleased he poured scorn on an early election this time around and didnt allow speculation to grow.

  9. Tony, please check the spread-betting market. At least – and until – Labour intervene to correct market-failures.

    As an English-Democrat I can’t wait for June 2009!

  10. It would appear that the momentum has defintly begun to change direction again. I think we have reached a tipping point and the public will now move aay from labour i would not be surpised now to see the lib dems begin to poll around 20-22% as those who can’t bring themselves to vote tory go back to the lib dems.

    The green issue i have yet to meet anyone who thinks the government/police handled this in a good way.

  11. I find it odd that the Conservatives are not further ahead. Especially now that they have aimed their attacks more succesfully.

    I do get the impression that much of the real anger at Labour, that was prevalent for the first half of the year, has subsided and that we are seeing their proper core vote (which was never ‘really’ in the mid 20’s).

    Still think that the Tories should be regularly getting 45 plus to be sure of victory in an election but having seen how busy the shops have been over the weekend I must admit I’m not quite as pessimistic over the economy as I have been.

    Labour still have some fight in them, no doubt about it.

  12. IVAN THE TERRIBLEplease, may I introduce myself…?The economy has been tanking from 2007Q2.

    That meant I could dry-clean my old suits, but not afford a new one.Now I can pick-up a £200 suit for £79.99.

    This is a site for polls, not economics. If you wish to start a discussion, please ask Anthony first.

    Thanks ;)

  13. Tony – The first post PBR poll showed a small swing to Labour and the lead down to 4%.

    James – A small number of singlr digit lead findingd – yes 4 is a small number but 4 in the last 8 polls is not particularly small.

    I always find it enlightening to see peoples responses on here. They give away who they support immediately and the spin they give on each poll is always a good read.

    This poll is obviously not good for Labour or the LDems however to start to say the Brown bounce has evaporated on the back of two polls. Why not hold back until a few more come out, rather than stating a preference to what you hope it means.

    Fluffy – If you stopped any talk apart from talk about polls, most posts would be removed as most are either slating the government or patting Team Dave on the back.It’s only the odd one or two that sneak in about the polls.Or they will spin a part of the poll in the post then go on about how bad the government is.

    For example…SEE ABOVE.

  14. Mike – It is a sad thing to say, however Mp’s are held in less asteem as estate agents and you hardly hear a good word for them.

    With the exception of reading it in the paper I have hardly heard anyone I know mention it, they are more interested in what is happening with the economy.Im sure if it was a quiet news period it would get more response, however there has been a slaughter in Mumbai and the world economy is on the brink of collapse, I think the public may be more interested in that.

  15. Talk of poll bounces is a joke at the moment – it’s more like ping-pong!

  16. @ Tony – “James – A small number of singlr digit lead findingd – yes 4 is a small number but 4 in the last 8 polls is not particularly small.”

    True, but it’s hardly decisive either, given that the other 4 returned double digit leads and that this period was supposedly the very height of the supposed “Brown bounce”. Since PPR we’ve had 2 major polls. Both have given substantial Tory leads. My guess is that the Damian Green story, which is rapidly snowballing (see today’s Independent, for example) is going to bring only further grief for Labour. As it should, frankly.

  17. Given the reaction to the PBR I think these polls are fairly predictable. I think it may be that enough people have effectively decided that this government has run its course, but the mood certainly doesn’t accord with pre 1997, despite what some on here suggest. It may be that even if the PBR measures work and the recession ends quickly Labour will not be given much credit. Cameron hasn’t made any effective progress in defining what he stands for, but then he doesn’t have to – governments lose elections, as they say.

    Its a bit like the Green affair. I have no doubt that this was an over zealous police operation and absolutely nothing to do with government ministers. I’m not a Labour supporter but I find Mike’s comments on this fatuous and offensive. Its an operational police matter, not a political conspiracy, and those implying anything else are the ones that create the cynicism in UK politics. However, Brown will get blamed, because that’s how things are now. Interestingly enough, I didn’t pick up the same sense of outrage here when Labour ministers were being dragged from their homes in dawn raids by the Met in the cash for honours affair, which, everyone should remember, found no evidence of wrongdoing.
    If you’re going to shout the odds about police treatment of MPs, do it for all parties, rather than just the one that you support. That way your protests about ethics in government might just hold a little more water.

  18. The previous Mori poll confirmed Yougov’s results of an improved position for Labour.

    Will Yougov’s next poll confirm Mori’s that it was just a blip?

    My guess is yes. But given the regularity of Yougov’s polls we should know soon.

  19. Anthony

    Your comment “….That may have been something of an outlier – the Lib Dem figure of only 12% was particularly difficult to believe -” implies that the 12% is an outlier, actually although you may find it hard to believe, that figure is very consistent with MORI’s previous two surveys.

    Although the MORI figure for Lab and Con are clearly volitile, the same cannot be said for their Lib Dem figures which have been very stable.

    That may mean there is a problem with their methodology/sampling, but it does suggest that there was nothing eratic about the finding

  20. The movement of Polls -like movement of the Stock Market-has to be defined in terms of timescale being examined.

    One look at Anthony’s All Polls Graph ( post GE 2005), shows that the Conservatives have been in the lead for the vast proportion of time since David Cameron became their leader.

    In the three years since DC became leader, on 6/12/2005, Labour have been in the lead for only one sustained period:-

    The Gordon Brown “Bounce “which followed his appointment as Leader on 24/6/07, lasted for three months and a few days until 5/10/07-two days after DC’s Conference speech.

    During that period 35 of the 56 Polls in which Labour has been in the lead since DC’s leadership occurred-out of 288 Polls.

    The recent narrowing of Tory margin ( not actually a Labour lead this time) has occurred at a time when GB has had massive international Press coverage & introduced totally unprecedented counter-recessionary measures in UK.

    It looks like the false dawn GB produced after his accession might be repeated.

    Is there something about this PM’s flourishes which do not stand up to critical assessment and are doomed to disappoint?

    If the Polls slip back into the three year trend of Tory leads, will the Labour Leadership again become an issue?-or will Labour simply lose heart?

  21. I just can’t see the Green affair animating the public a great deal and indeed it may be in the interests of politicians to turn down the heat.

    It could be one of those situations that when the public want politicians to be concerned about their concerns politicians are percieved as getting animated by something that only really matters in the Westminster village even if MP’s do try to portray it as being about freedom or liberty.

    I remember somewhere seing a quote about a general by one of his staff which said;

    ” The only time I ever saw him put up a fight was when he was asked to resign”

    Politicians always take a risk when they make an issue of something that matters more to them than the public.


  22. “I didn’t pick up the same sense of outrage here when Labour ministers were being dragged from their homes in dawn raids by the Met in the cash for honours affair”

    Because they weren’t. No ministers arrested. No ministers dragged from their homes. Just asked if the police could drop round for an interview under caution.

    Treated much as one might have expected in the Green case.

    And holding the governmen to account, even through leaked documents, is legitimate parliamentary business. Selling peerages – if that had been what happened – isn’t.

  23. As I have said before here at some stage the general public will see through Gordon Brown and his Government.( If they havent already)
    After the PBR I think many people will see once again that GB and his Government cannot be straight with people
    The momentum against Labour was halted because of the Finacial Crisis but I as unemployment unfortunately continues to rise, and we see large parts of the service and retail sectors collapse, it seems that any Labour recovery will be short lived
    With regards to an early election I have no doubt GB would go to the country whenever he could if he thought he could win regardless of what he has said recentley
    I think he may have a very long wait!!

  24. Tony Jones: It is a shame you have such a low opinion of the British electorate that you think they are unable to be collectively outraged by an assault on hundreds of years of democratic principle. I personally think that this story will run for a long time and that the New Labour will reinforce it’s position as a bullying authoritarian govt that is totally out of touch. The media will reinforce this and the polls can only get much worse for labour. Expect them back down to mid twenties in 2 to 3 weeks time.

  25. Can I remin people that this really isn’t the place to argue about how outragous or not something the government has done or hasn’t done is. This is supposed to be for non-partisan discussion of the polls, not tired arguments about whether the government is any good or not.

    We should be discussing what the polls suggest the wider public think, not what we ourselves think.

  26. FWIW while I agree that the Damian Green episode will not register significantly with large sections of the electorate, I dont think it will play well with Liberal Democrat voters and when they are invited by Labour to vote tactically to keep the Conservatives out in marginal seats, they may well think hard about which is the lesser evil!

  27. Lots of ordinary people have mentioned the Greengate affair to me and are angry. Its no good burying your head in the sand, this is bad for Labour.

  28. The Sunday Times was very critical- not least because of the involvement of the police in political decisions which is not something done in England. Really it’s fantastic for Green who was a complete nonentity and is now a fully-fledged freedom fighter.

  29. Ivan the T is correct for the Tories to be confident of an outright victory they should be getting over 45% in virtually every poll, remember 1992. The short term impact of the PBR has clearly been bad for Labour, the polls after confirm this; a key political question at the election could be the 45p rate coupled with Tory inheritance task proposals. This is long-term dog whistle fstuff rom Labour reminding people of ‘Tory toffs’ wihch they can’t say openly. Clever in my view – expect reminders in Labour press of Cam, drugs at Eton etc. Still game on.

  30. ‘As for this latest POLL – the only word to use is “inevitable”, it was going to happen – it was just when !’

    Again, the capacity to see into the future remains stunning from someone who called all the polls against Obama wrong and who knew Obama would lose. Stick to analysis of facts Mike, and get rid of ‘Oracle’; the most visible showing of your hubris was your call that all the polls for Obama were wrong and you knew better. Self-evidently you didn’t- here is clear proof you are not an oracle (let alone in many other calls).

    As Anthony says- this is about polls and analysis of polls. As however I say; wish fulfilment, which is what you indulge in, is actually merely tedious.

  31. ‘Greengate’ mattering? Not when you have lost your job or your neighbour has. ‘It’s the economy stupid’ as someone far more important than me said.

    This is solely a matter for the chattering classes and will have no impact, I suspect, in the real world removed from our oversensitive gaze. We are nerds, after all.

  32. Anthony I think your banging your head against the wall here.Look at this thread, how many posters actually mention the poll compared to how many posters just rant about how bad the government is.

    Maybe you can have two threads for every poll.One where we can talk about the poll results and one where the anti-government posters can all moan about Brown, Darling et al.

  33. I agree with Tony Jones.

  34. “We should be discussing what the polls suggest the wider public think, not what we ourselves think.”

    We are all representative members of the wider public (though some of us are less proportionate than others).

    What we need isn’t less partisanship, but more balance – which means a greater diversity of views.

    If it weren’t for the inifinite nuance within the potential variety of views it would be easier choose to moderate out all repetitive comments and allow the audience to make it’s own mind up, so instead all we can hope for is that an evolving communal spirit and a gradual maturing of the participating voices will overcome the tendency for wishful thinking.

  35. Thank you Anthony.

    If I may suggest part (and only part) of the reason for the recent moves in the polls to the Conservatives may be the pretty uniform media criticism of the Government, initially of the PBR and especially the VAT change. Whether the similarly unform criticism of the Green saga will reinforce that move we don’t yet know but if it does than it MAY be that media coverage is becoming (again) a very significant factor in influencing voters. Given the New Labour determination to control the media pre and post 1997 could we be in for another attempt at spin?

  36. Tony – it’s something I’ve often considered actually, a “pit” thread where we can throw all the partisan stuff and let people let off steam as they wish. I’m not sure if it would work or not.

    Thomas -” What we need isn’t less partisanship, but more balance ”

    No – it isn’t, that’s the polar opposite of what I want here. When I set out a policy of wanting non-partisan discussion I didn’t want the BBC idea of non-partisanship – that it, get someone from each side of the argument and then it’s balanced. I want people from whatever side choosing not to make partisan points in this venue and discussing politics sensibly with people who may have different views without trying to claim their side is best or score points. A place for people with different political views but who have a shared interest in the process of politics. “Balance” just ends up with the tired recitation of party lines, rebutals, spinning and so on, which in turn drives out any sensible discussion.

    David D – I would think that the media coverage is ALWAYS a very significant factor. With the exception of political parties websites, direct mailing and canvassing, the public only ever see politics and politicians through the prism of the media.

  37. Seems to me that, after all the excitement of the last 6-8 weeks we now have a poll position almost exactly as it was in September. This points to a Conservative election win but not to the labour Party being written off – we could have any result from a narrow Labour win to a Conservative landslide.

    I would be very surprised in labour fell below 30% in a GE (just as I would be if the Conservatives did likewise) and I would be equally surprised if either party got more than 45% in the same election. And for completeness the Lib Dems are unlikely to get less than 15%.

  38. Oddly enough the Green affair might be good for Labour as it takes the publics attention away from the economy and the PBR.

    I think the attention it is getting is because it’s of importance from politicains and journalists both of whom wouldn’t like to be treated like us mere mortals when it comes to leaking information.

    Oh and before the paranoia sets in I don’t think this was a Labour ploy to take the medias attention away from the PBR, they aren’t that clever.


  39. Sorry Anthony, but I don’t accept the BBC definition of ‘balance’ is valid or helpful in this medium.

    Neutrality doesn’t exist in punditry and any pretence at neutrality where it can’t be absolutely enforced (through the constraints of time etc – as in broadcast media) means that the forum becomes dominated by the shrillest and loudest voices (the Dutch claimed neutrality in WW2, just look where that got them).

    So as this site creeps further out of obscurity and attracts more adherents it risks drowning out analysis if you wish to completely sideline any partisanship.

    The evolving online world means that you are going to be forced to choose between open and democratic commentary or an elite subscriber base; a tightly focussed comment policy or a wider audience and increased influence.

    Since I’ve been here I’ve also noticed the changes and I would say that this reflects the stage of the electoral cycle, so the discussions are clearly more than a matter of academic interest.

    If I may offer a suggestion I would encourage the regulars to be more proactive in enforcing your policy as this would coopt us into moderating the tone, if not the content – this would also have the effect of lifting some of the burden from your benevolence: I call it independent active citizenship!

  40. The polls continue to send us a mixed message, as the economic questions show.
    To be frank, there seems to be an element of wanting to cling to the government for now, to steer us through this mess for another year, and then let them go.

    On the 45% question James mentioned, well first, we must remind ourselves that polls are where we are now, not predictors.

    I agree, with the disparity on seats, still there with the boundary review, that a 45% figure is the most re-assuring for the Tories to indicate they can withstand any swing back to the government.
    But I do suspect, also, that, if they did add on significant numbers of votes, the electoral distortion would unravel – up to to a point, and a lead of about 7% would give them a majority of 25-35 seats.

    But Labour still have some fight in them, and it could go either way.

  41. Thomas,

    Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey ,Spain and Portugal also claimed neutrality and look what happened to them.

    If you choice is valid, which I doubt, then I’d guess that Anthony would quite happily forego the wider “open” commentary and stick with a narrower “elite”.

    Anthony has said in the past there are plenty of other places to go on the net if you want a rant. This site has a specific remit and purpose and no one is forced to visit or post.

    My advice would be;

    “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

    As to the idea of influence that is a myth, if you gain popularity by playing to the crowd you ultimately go where the crowd wants to go, even if it’s the gallows.

    Whats popular isn’t always right and whats right isn’t always popular; Me I like to stick with right as respect is a rarer commodity that popularity and of much more value.

    If the current exchanges do show us something of us,e it’s that the are accurate in showing that all parties have an unshakeable core vote who will always defend their chosen party regardless of the evidence.

    What we are seeing right now aren’t so much supporters as fans, people who back their team regardless, always complain of bias when a decision or result doesn’t go there way and who alternate between their manager deserving a Knighthood or the sack depending on where their team is in the league, or the result of the local derby.

    What the current ding dong over the PBR or Green doesn’t tell us is what the overall electorate think, that’s what the polls are there to do.


  42. Once again I really don’t understand such swings… +3 pts lead one day, +11 the week after…etc. Therefore I can only see alternatives:
    1- people don’t care and tell rubish (end of polling then ?)
    2- people have no brain anymore and in modern times, the louder the better probably
    Hmmmm does not sound very optimistic for the future…

  43. Much as I respect Peter’s comments I have to say that I disagree with him when he says:

    “Oddly enough the Green affair might be good for Labour as it takes the publics attention away from the economy and the PBR. ”

    I certainly don’t believe that the public has had its attention diverted from the economy, the huge increase in debt and the promise of tax cuts in the future. Moreover the electorate is notoriously ungrateful and I don’t think Labour will benefit at all from the VAT cut – the cheaper goods will simply be pocketed. Brown benefited from the flurry of activity during the “crisis phase” but now that things are settling, normal politics will resume.

    So far as the Green affair is concerned whilst I agree that it is too muddy to directly affect public opinion very much – it has certainly antagonised the Fourth Estate, big time. This will make it much harder now for Mandelson, Campbell et al to gain traction with their media management, which has tended to rely on bullying and clever leaking. I suspect the journos will be far more inclined to raise two fingers to them now – particularly as the narrative has turned against the government so much.

  44. Looking at the post-PBR swing back to the Conservatives, I think it shows public disappointment to the fiscal stimulus package.

    Labour had been gaining on the economy (are they the only party ever to benefit from a recession?) and people were feeling confident that Labour would offer them a nice lump sum of around £800-£1000 per family to go out and spend.

    Instead the VAT cut, as welcome as it is, has been seen as ineffective and is not going to get people spending more as it doesn’t give them extra money to spend (if I have £10, I can only buy £10 worth of things whatever price they are).

    We will have to wait to see if this drop continues as the PBR disappointment fades from memory. The worry for Labour will be that, on anything other than the economy, they have not had a good win for a long time.

  45. I get the impression the PBR has gone down badly not because of perceived profligacy, but rather because of the view that a cut of 2.5% in VAT won’t make any difference.

    Presumably an £18bm tax cut or threshold raise would have been more popular, though it wouldn’t necessarily have been a better way of putting money into the economy.

    I suspect it would be easier to justify reversing a VAT cut in 13 months time than to justify reversing tax cuts and threshold rises in 13 months time (Just before an election).

    I agree with peter in that the voters should follow the decision makers (and hold them to account), not the other way round, and that doing the correct thing should drive politicians.

    Perhaps Darling has managed to do something that will prove to be correct both politically and for the good of the country, but I sense the timing of the next election, as ever, has had rather a lot to do with it.

  46. A good poll for the Conservatives but one thing this does show is that the next election is still not a done deal. The polls showed Labour catching up, now they are falling back again, but still not as bad as things were (early to to say that, I know). But Labour still have one advantage, they are in power.

  47. Totally agree with Gary. The economic competency findings of the poll strongly imply that there is still everything to play for.

  48. As noted the individual poll “swings” are unreliable because the real 90% confidence interval of the polls is about +/-5% so about 1 poll in 10 will have an error of >5%. The underlying position (on the Weighted Moving Average) is about 42:33:16 – Anthony calculates on a slightly different basis but gets much the same figure.

    Being in office is not generally an advantage when you are about to be hit by the worst recession in living memory.

    If we look at the medium-term WMA trends, the CLead:
    a. peaked at 8 in March 07,
    b. fell to -9 by Sept 07
    c. peaked at 10 in Dec 08
    d. fell to 5 in Jan 09
    e. peaked at 21 in Sept 08
    f. fell to 7 in Nov 08

    If 7 proves to be the latest trough we could expect the peak to be in the region 20-30.

    PS Anthony: are the likely to be polls specifically about Greengate? if so, when do you think they might emerge? My guesses are yes and soon.

  49. Peter,

    Commendable post at 08:56. You reminded me of the French revolutionary who exclaimed on seeing a rabble running down the boulevard “I must follow them, I am their leader!”.

    What seems to be striking from the polls in recent months is not so much how the Con-Lab lead has fluctuated, but the volatility as between the Labour and Lib Dem shares. With only a few exceptions (and then only by 1 or 2 %) Tories have been consistently in a range of 40-45% for a year. Labour on the other hand has been on a roller-coaster for most of the past two years, with much of this movement coming to/from the Lib Dems.

    If Labour’s position subsides back to low 30s in the polls over the next few months, then it will become ever harder for Brown to claw his way back.

    It may be a side effect of regional distribution, since I suspect that most of Labour’s recovery in recent months has come from their core / heartland voters being firmer in their support, rather than new “converts”.

    This raises an interesting question as to how much impact regional variations will have on actual seats won/lost together with the probable effect of unwinding of the (anti-Tory) tactical voting that evidently occurred in 1997 and 2001, but less so in 2005.

  50. The only thing that can be said with certainty about the polls at the moment, is that the polls are certainly volatile, and that virtually no political evidence can be deduced from them. It would be interesting to see what the private party polling is telling them. I think that the polls will only be useful, say, a month or two before a GE is called.

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