16 August 2009

The worrying news for Labour in these polls

There have been two overnight polls neither showing much overall change:

ICM: CON 43%(+2), LAB 26%(-1) LDEM 19%(-1)

YouGov: CON 42%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 19%(+1)

The field work for the YouGov one was carried out on Thursday and Friday (assume the ICM one was carried out at the same time) whilst Cameron was on the defensive over Messrs. Duncan and Hannan.  Therefore, any effect of the bad news for the Tories probably has not been fully reflected in these polls, if indeed there will be any.

ICM deals with the PM4PM silliness, which has now been ‘officially’ closed off by the The Great Man himself.  Mike Smithson still does not get it, but Alan Watkins and Matthew d'Ancona both do.

Moving on to the fundamental problem that these polls pose for the Labour party, which I am slightly surprised Mike Smithson has not picked up on.  The theory goes that by keeping Brown away from the media during his holiday, the polls would move in Labour’s favour, as the party’s private polling had been suggesting that Our Dear Leader was the problem.  Clearly, the polls have not moved at all with Brown being away for three weeks.

August polling should not be relied on too heavily due to the obvious problem with sampling during the holiday period.  However, if I were Mandy, and thank the Lord I'm not Sir, I would be very concerned about these findings.

Yes, we need a few more polls.  Yes, we need to know the full effect of the Duncan/Hannan loose talk.  However, if the polls do not move whilst Brown is away (he does not officially return until after the late August Bank Holiday), then AJ4PM will become Labour’s only option if they are to avoid meltdown at the general election.

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  1. The public doesn't really care about the NHS. Major worries are the economy and Afghanistan. The Labour dog-whistle approach might have worked a year ago, but not now.

    My only worry is that this lack of public backlash emboldens the Tories, to a degree that the public do begin to get worried.

  2. You maybe right. It remains to be seen. My point about the NHS is how Brown plays this, as I have discussed in an earlier post.

    If he behaves like a dog with bone, as I have suggested and as he probably will, then it could well rebound badly on Labour.

    My point here is Labour now has a fundamental problem as Brown's absence is making no difference to their standing in the polls.

  3. I disagree with Jess but perhaps it's because I'm a female of a certain age and he's a male - they tend to store up health problems until later in life.

    The public do want to discuss the NHS. Far too many mistakes in it, far too much money given in compensation if you can afford to sue in the first place, poor standards etc.

    Yes they want to discuss Afghanistan but I find the majority of the public aren't that interested for reasons I've stated previously.