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Are the Tories heading for a fourth successive defeat?

July 30th, 2005

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    What happens if the new leader makes no difference?

Although the poll moves away from the Tories have not been as great as after previous General Elections there’ve been few crumbs of comfort in the few surveys that have been carried out.

We have hardly mentioned the post-May 5th polls on the site because this close to the election the question of what respondents might do in four years time is not very relevant. Also the Olympic 2012 decision and the bombings have clearly helped the government. But from Cheadle and the limited data we have the best that can be said is that the Tory ceiling of 33% support is still in place.

Michael Howard’s move to go into an immediate leadership election has not helped as has his desire to change the rules which will ensure an ongoing row for several months. But is there anything that the party can feel positive about?

  • Boundary changes next time might mean an estimated 17 extra seats as the size of constituencies is brought more into with population changes.
  • Tony Blair has said he’ll go before the next election – though the latest Populus Poll has 48% of Labour supporters saying that he should reconsider his decision to stand down and stay on longer
  • A new Tory leader might articulate a vision that resonates with the millions who have stopped supporting the party – though this has not worked with the last three leader changes.
  • The Lib Dems might stick with Charles Kennedy rather than have a leader who has more appeal to Tory waverers. Nationally on May 5th his party made big inroads into the Labour vote but zero progress amongst Tories.
  • There is quite a range of bookies accepting bets on the outcome of the next UK General Election which we have hardly featured. The implied probability the prices represent is 65% for Labour. We can see no reason for betting now because of the need to lock your money up for so long.

    Mike Smithson






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