The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Post-Conference Polling

Posted by The Futility Monster on October 19, 2009 @ 08:31

The summer season now well behind us, the Monster’s Poll is finally getting updated. And, my, have there been a lot of polls, largely due to Sky News and their daily opinion poll tracker that they had running during the whole of the conference period.

The expense was largely unjustified. Anyone who followed the polls during that time probably got a little bit of sick of trying to explain away sometimes bizarre movements in polls, attempting to correlate them with something, anything, that might justify why Labour could move five points in a day without any apparent trigger.

But all that data has indeed led to some movement. And it’s one that moves Labour a little way towards a more respectable result, but still trailing badly…

  • Conservatives: 40% (N/C)
  • Labour: 23% (+2%)
  • Lib Dems: 23% (+1%)

Putting the Tories on 40% is hardly a surprise. Our Monster’s Poll read 40% for them in mid June. I’ve observed on a number of occasions that their support is rock solid. It would take a seismic shift for their support to move anywhere else. 40% of the electorate are, in my view, in the bag for Cameron. That should deliver him victory. A close one, but a victory nevertheless.

It is Labour, however, whose figures are the most intriguing. 23% would still be an appalling performance, but they have now increased by some 5% since their 18% nadir in the run up to the Euro Elections.

But here’s the problem. The following graph shows Labour’s median polling share, with a weekly reading taken from the previous 90 days polling, or, 30 polls if the number of polls within the last 90 days was not 30…

Click for large version

Click for large version

In words… it started at 26%, and ended four months later at 27%, taking a small decline in-between and then recovering the lost ground.

Not great. At that rate of progress, maybe they’ll achieve 30% or so by the election. In time I suspect the Monster’s Poll reading will move closer towards that, and maybe Labour will outperform it if they are able to rally their support with the threat of a Tory majority. The big question, of course, will be whether such an increase in support is well distributed in the marginal seats, or if it merely adds to existing Labour majorities in their heartlands. The former is preferable, the latter is useless…

But what it does show is that they must have been doing something right since they hit rock bottom. Uncharitable observers may quip that even a dead cat bounces, but I think that’s unfair. Labour’s conference did instil a bit more fight in the party, and maybe their continued attacks on an apparent lack of Conservative policy and an untried, untested and inexperienced leadership have brought home a few Labour waverers at the expense of fringe parties.

Still, they haven’t made a dent in that Tory 40% core.

And, like I said, that’s why they’re gonna lose!


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