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Is it worth a punt on the Tories getting their poll lead back?

September 30th, 2008

Does a 16%-20% margin seem like a value bet?

The Irish bookmaker PaddyPower has put up a range of markets linked to David Cameron’s big conference speech tomorrow – the most interesting being the one featured in the panel above – what polling lead will the Tories have in the first post-big speech survey?

After some consultation with me this will be settled on the basis of the party shares in the first YouGov poll where the fieldwork starts after the big event. I assume that we’ll see a survey either in the Telegraph, the Sunday Times or one of the other media outlets.

    I’ve long argued that whatever the fundamentals of public opinion there’s always an element in polls which is based on which party has been in the news most. Thus the Lib Dems got quite a boost a fortnight ago; Labour have done well since their conference; and now we have the Tories.

This is because of the special regime that the broadcaster operate under at this time in the political year – extra coverage is given to each party in turn particularly for the leader’s’ main speeches.

This year, of course, the Tories are having to compete with the global financial crisis and I’m sure that it was with an eye on the media coverage that was one of the reasons for David Cameron’s special speech this morning. Certainly the the Tory front bench seem to be going out of their way to look statesmanlike without a smile between them.

In the YouGov poll taken immediately after the Lib Dem conference but before Labour the main split was C44-L24-LD20. Last week’s survey that started straight after Brown had sat down returned figures of C41-L31-LD16.

My guess is that the 16%-20% segment looks best and I’ll be having a small bet.

There are a pile of other Cameron-speech markets here.

Mike Smithson






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