Just a late evening quickie here; and it’s a grateful hat-tip to Anthony Wells at UK polling report.
Ipsos-Mori has a Political Monitor Mid-Term Review: 2010-2012. Believe Malcolm: if you’re anything of a politics junkie, you’ll be taken by it — for good or ill, depending on your proclivities.
We’re all aware of the main trends:
Suddenly it all looks so much worse for the Tories. With the exception of the Cameron-veto-that-wasn’t and the latest little spark over the long-awaited Tantric speech, it looks like a constant and continuing slide. Factor in the latest (again Anthony Wells) and even the recent up-tick looks like history:
The YouGov/Sun daily poll this morning had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%. As we suspected yesterday, the Conservative boost from the referendum pledge has indeed faded away.
When we are told,
- as we repeatedly are by resentful Tories, that the electoral deficit — because of the failed bid to gerrymander constituencies — will cost the Tories between 7 and 11 per cent;
- then add on top of that a 12% lag in the polls, which has persisted these last six months or more, and so can be counted endemic,
we can see why the opinion is growing that the position for 2015 is hopeless. Or, as Peter Hitchens gave both barrels to the faithful of the Daily Mail:
As it happens, these questions are largely irrelevant, as the Conservative Party will not win the 2015 Election, so Mr Cameron will not have his negotiations or his referendum.
Mr Cameron, and many Tories, have deluded themselves into thinking they won in 2010, but in fact they lost. And that was under much more favourable conditions than will exist in 2015. The country was in the grip of a strange frenzy of hate against Gordon Brown. A surge in support for the Liberal Democrats drew off a large slice of the Labour vote.
Look a bit further at those Ipsos-Mori figures and it is also clear that Labour has still a lot to do — especially across the south of England, where the Tories still have a 10-11% lead. That can be set against the slump of the LibDem vote — and the low-hanging fruit here tends to be in LibDem/Tory marginals. So Tory gains in the South are not going to be at Labour’s expense. Moreover, the Labour vote round these parts has effectively doubled (16 to 33% according to Ipsos-Mori) since the General Election, and Labour might expect many of the losses of 2010 to come back into the fold: Bedford, Brighton Kemptown, Chatham, Crawley, Dover … we’re only sixth of the way through the alphabet.
There’s even better news elsewhere. Consider what Ipsos-Mori shows, even in Scotland (as right). Not so good, huh? Well, the Labour vote is marginally higher (a couple of percentage points) than the General Election; and the SNP numbers seem to have only one way to go. If — when — the anniversary of Bannockburn is celebrated by the Scottish referendum being lost, that is going to focus Caledonian minds remarkably. And it will still be a further year after 2015 before the next Scottish Parliament election (that’s another one to blame on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011) — will Wee Eck’s administration be looking a bit ragged and torn by then? (Yes, if George Osborne can cut the grant-in-aid without leaving too many hatchet marks.) The icing on the opposition cakes is that Johann Lamont (Scottish Labour Party) and Ruth Davidson (Scottish Conservative Party) both appear to be making some sort of impact, not least on their own party faithfuls.
Finally, take a gander at what Ipsos-Mori divine is happening in London (as left). It would seem like a direct swing of some 8-9% from Tory to Labour. That’s despite the Boris Johnson schtick and all the expensive Olympic lipstick on the Tory pig. Now wonder which way any LibDem defections will go — and the LibDem vote here is down by far more than a half.
Of course, this will not be the picture into 2015 — we cannot extrapolate that far ahead.
All the same, read the editorial, Conservative Party: losing the plot, in tomorrow’s Guardian, and wonder. Even if you largely agree with it (and, on balance, Malcolm for one probably does) you may fairly muse on the Guardian‘s intentions with a Baldrick tone, “I have a cunning plan, my Lord”. If so, you may also see Tom Watson’s spiky point,
I can’t help thinking this Guardian editorial endorsing the Cameron leadership, will not help him with the MPs he needs.