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YouGov: Labour now level-pegging with the Tories

September 30th, 2006

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    Lib Dems suffer most from Blair farewell conference boost

On Tuesday in the aftermath of Tony Blair’s extraordinary farewell speech I predicted here that this would “give the party a small but significant boost in the polls and … might even see Labour back into the lead..”

And so it has happened. A Yougov survey for the Telegraph that was mostly carried out in the immediate aftermath of the Blair speech has these shares this morning with comparisons on their last poll a week ago. CON 36(-1): LAB 36%(+3): LD16%(-2)..

There can be little doubt that the extensive and favourable coverage of the speech and the general display of unity at the Manchester conference has given Labour a much-needed polling boost. This is the first time since April that the Tories have not been in the lead in a poll with a politically weighted sample.

The main consolation for the Tories is that they only went down a point and the main hit seems to have been taken by the Lib Dems who have dropped to 16% – where they were at in May.

    Today’s changes almost directly parallel what happened after Labour’s conference a year ago. Then the Labour YouGov share went up three points to 40% with the Tories staying on 32% and the Lib Dems dropping from 21 to 20%.

One of the annual problems the Tories have got is that theirs is always the last in the autumn conference season so they almost always gather by the seaside with their relative position against Labour getting worse. They’ve also not been getting much of a look-in in the media over the past month which has been dominated by the Labour succession.

I think that there is a possibility that Labour could be back into the lead in the Populus Poll for the Times that should be out on Tuesday. Last year the pollster recorded the Labour lead going up from 2% to 10% in the poll taken immediarly after the Labour conference.

Even so this is a blow to David Cameron as he prepares for his first party annual gathering and there are some other polling details showing that perceptions of him have declined over the past nine months.

Mike Smithson






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