Have the Conservatives peaked too soon?

You may have caught Gordon Brown’s amazing late barnstormer on TV but the clip they used on the BBC was the wrong one, full of facts and therefore beside the point. At last, he threw aside the paralysing caution that gives him a bad temper and reverted to his Presbyterian roots. Another case of too little, to late? Maybe, maybe not.

Your movement is like every other great movement in history. It is built on moral convictions. First hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of people who say inequality should not be woven into the fabric of our lives, people of compassion and goodwill should never journey without hope, and no injustice should endure forever.”

Blimey!

A second poll of the marginals for the Daily Telegraph by Crosby/Textor is not quite as encouraging for Cameron as the earlier Ipsos Mori. The paper reports that “the Conservatives are on course to seize at least 103 seats from Labour – 14 shy of the 117 needed to secure an overall majority”. There are queries here about the sample size and the write-up slightly hypes the results. These state that the Lib Dem vote is harder in Cons-L-D marginals while the Labour vote is softer in Cons-Lab ones. This ( it doesn’t say) slightly favours ” the progressive majority”

The conclusions are as ever based on a uniform swing but once again,. regional variations could tilt the result either way. On the details:

• In the 140 most marginal Labour seats:

o 36% Labour and 40% Conservative; a lead of 4 points for Conservatives and a swing to them of 7.5 points (15 point net movement) since 2005.

o Tories would pick up 103 Labour-held seats on this swing if felt uniformly

In the 20 most marginal Lib Dem seats:

o 53% Lib Dem and 41% Conservative; a lead of 12 points for Lib Dems and a swing

to them of 3 points (6 point net vote movement) since 2005.

o Tories would NOT pick up any Lib Dem-held seats on this result.

• On the basis of uniform swings, the poll predicts a hung parliament at this time.

However Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report treats the poll with scepticism.

I can’t find a break down in the tables for how many people were interviewed in Lab-v-Con seats and how many in LD-v-Con seats, but if it was in proportion to the number of seats being polled, the sample size for LD-v-Cons would be absurdly small. Secondly, the figures themselves look odd – CON 41%, LAB 3%, LDEM 53%. Now, I’m sure Labour’s vote is going to get squeezed in those seats… but 3%?

For what its worth ( not a lot with marginals so variable) the BBC Poll of Polls shows Labour pipping the Lib Dems in share of the vote with the Cons short of majority by 47 seats ( give or take the odd absent Shinner and the Speaker, who is counted as a Conservative) and Labour 17 seats behind.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

Upcoming Slugger Events

The Mccluskey Civil Rights Summer School – Guest Speaker Bernadette McAliskey
Sat, 18 Aug 2018 |  Dungannon
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