This mornings YouGov poll for the Sun has topline voting intention figures of CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 7%. The seven point lead is the same as yesterday’s poll, and suggests the Conservatives have enjoyed a modest but not particularly dramatic boost from their conference. As conference season ends, we appear to have followed the normal roller coaster pattern – we entered it with a Labour lead of about 10 points, it peaked at 14 points after Labour’s conference, and fell down to seven points after the Conservative conference. While we’ll have to wait and see, I expect it will go back towards ten points once the publicity from the Conservative conference fades.
As was the case with the Labour conference, there has been more of an impact on Cameron’s ratings than on the main voting intention figures. When YouGov asked who would make best Prime Minister a week ago after Miliband’s speech Cameron’s lead over Miliband had been cut to 4 points, now it is back up to 14 points.
The proportion of people who think Cameron is decisive is up ten points to 46%, the proportion who think he is strong is up 7 points to 41%, the proportion who think he is out of touch has dropped 7 points to 59%, but remains his greatest weakness. There was a big increase in people who think they know what Cameron stands for. At the start of the month only 45% of people said they felt they knew what he stood for, that is now up to 60%.
So, conference season is over and normal service is resumed. We’ll have to wait a bit for the polls to settle down and the Conservative party’s publicity boost to fade to see if there is any lasting effect in terms of public opinion.