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Boost for Labour in new YouGov poll

December 30th, 2007

Tory lead down to 5% but nearly 60% say Gord is doing badly

A new YouGov poll reported in the Sunday Times this morning has, with changes on the last survey by the pollster nearly a fortnight ago CON 40% (-3): LAB 35% (+4): LD 15% (-1).

There’s very little other information in the paper except that “six out of 10 people believe the prime minister is doing badly”. We don’t know when the poll was carried out or any other details. The shares for the main two parties are fairly similar to the ICM survey in the Guardian before Christmas which had C39-L34-LD18.

It is very unusual for a survey to be carried out bang in the middle of the Christmas holiday period and clearly Labour has benefited by the lack of bad news and the fact that the opposition parties have been relatively quiet. The media has been focussed elsewhere. There is a general theory as well that polling over holiday periods can be suspect because of the number of people who are away from home.

Over the past two years there has been a pretty close correlation between the amount of media coverage that Cameron has enjoyed and Tory party ratings. A key driver of the Brown polling bounce in the summer was that the Tories were almost totally blanked out of the news.

The Lib Dems might be a little disappointed to see their share drop particularly after their leader change. But choosing to have the election result announcement just as the holiday season was starting was always going to make it challenging for the new man to get coverage. Not smart – but typical of a party where having an effective media strategy is not seen as being terribly important.

One snippet of political news in the Observer suggests that Brown has “offered to hold talks with the new Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, on constitutional reform”. The report says that there’ll be a government paper on the subject next month.

This could pose a danger for Clegg – for if he is portrayed as getting too close to Gordon that could impede efforts to win back the party supporters who have switched to the Tories since the general election.

  • If the new poll leads to a move back to Labour on the commons spread betting markets on the number of seats I might start selling. This is the form of betting where the number of seats the parties will get at the next election are traded like stocks and shares. The great joy is that if your predictions are right then you can close down your position and cash in your profits immediately. There is no need to wait for the election itself.

Mike Smithson

Politicalbetting.com – The Political Website of the Year

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