Latest Polls

There are a grab-bag of little polls in the last few days while I’ve been away, so here’s a brief round up. A new ICM poll for the Sunday Mirror has headline voting intentions (with changes from ICM’s last poll) of CON 36% (nc), LAB 35% (+3) , LDEM 19% (-3). The trend is similar to that in yesterday’s YouGov poll for the Telegraph – Labour have received a substantial boost from their party conference, largely at the expense of the Liberal Democrats.

John Reid’s conference performance seems to have boosted support for him as a potential successor to Blair, while support for Brown has remained static. Brown remains the choice of 46% of those who gave an answer (the Sunday Mirror has excluded don’t knows from its reported figures), while Reid is at 18%, up from 10% a fortnight ago (the fieldwork was carried out between the 28th and 30th of September, so most if not all of it would have been done after Reid’s conference speech).

A separate ICM poll for the BBC found that 53% of people opposed Britain’s military operations in Afghanistan, with only 31% supporting them.

ITV’s Sunday Edition has what is badged as a “Vision Panel” poll. Last week they had a poll by NOP, my guess is that this is an NOP poll as well, since earlier this year NOP won a contract to run “a 5,000-strong ITV Vision panel [that] will gather feedback on ITV programmes within 36 hours of broadcast.” Let’s hope that’s the case, because the results were, rather worryingly, quoted to one decimal place – normally quoting a poll with a margin of error of about 3% to one decimal place is a good warning sign of a dodgy poll! I shall investigate, but for the record the poll found that people though Brown was more trusted to run the economy or to lead the country in the face of a terrorist attack, but Cameron was more trusted on the NHS and the environment.

A Populus poll on Friday for the BBC found that 48% of people did not yet think that Brown had shown himself worthy to be Prime Minister and that 54% of people thought that David Cameron would make a better Prime Minister than Brown. There are some slightly more worrying figures for the Conservative party though: the media seem to have decided that the story of the Conservative party conference should be arguments over tax, and 55% of people told Populus that, if elected, David Cameron should cut taxes. As for their attempts to turn over a new leaf – 35% of people agreed that they no longer associated the party with past leaders like Thatcher and Major.

While most people still associate the Conservative party with Thatcher and Major, people do seem to be looking differently at David Cameron – a Harris Interactive poll in the FT yesterday found that only around 10% of people agreed that only one in 10 voters thought that David Cameron backed everything Baroness Thatcher did, while a majority of respondents (including a majority of both Conservative and Labour supporters) thought that Cameron is “uncomfortable with many of [Baroness Thatcher’s] policies and wants to create a different kind of party”.

Yesterday’s YouGov poll contained some more questions on David Cameron, with 54% of people believing it was “hard to know what the Conservative Party stands for at the moment”, and 60% wondering whether there was any substance behind David Cameron’s words. I’ll deal with this at more length once the rest of the poll is published tomorrow.


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