Pollsters need to wake up to the fact that Cameron has said that he won’t serve a third term

September 30th, 2015


The GE2020 choice won’t be DC or JC

Last night we saw the release of the monthly ComRes phone poll for the Daily Mail showing the CON lead down 5 to 9%. There was much focus on best PM figures showing Cameron 24% ahead of the new LAB leader.

One figure that stood out was that 26% of LAB voters in the survey chose Cameron rather than their new leader.

The only problem here is that as we all know Dave has made clear publicly that he is not going to continue the leadership beyond the general election. The choice will be between Corbyn if he survives till then and Cameron’s successor.

    As I’ve argued here before Cameron enjoys a polling premium attracting support that is greater than his party and we can’t assume that his successor will have the same appeal.

My guess is that a best PM rating where the options are Corbyn and Osborne would see a smaller lead for the former. It would also give us a better pointer to the general election.

In the 2005-2010 parliament when Tony Blair was still at Number 10 there was a lot of polling comparing other prospective LAB leaders, particularly Brown, with Cameron. That was clearly the right thing to do then and should be adopted now.

There’s another reason why the focus should be on measuring views of Corbyn against prospective Tory leaders which is that it deals with the incumbency bias inherent when you compare an Opposition Leader with the sitting PM.

So please let’s see some best PM comparisons between Corbyn and Osborne, Boris, May, Javid etc.

Mike Smithson