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.”


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.

  • Cynic

    Keep grasping at straws Brian

  • The Raven

    Cynic, you can’t take away from it – it was a speech of passion and preacherman fire – the best I’ve seen from a British politician for years. It was verging on inspirational, despite the heckler. I could only gush more effusively if I actually found out that Gordon himself wrote it.

    (a) look at the competition – hence the “best in years” bit
    (b) yeah….too little, too late

  • maybe best to ask this question in 5 years time Walker 😉

  • When the dust settles, perhaps when the next amazing Nuffield study emerges (The Making of the President they ain’t), we shall be able to reflect on some of the dodgiest and most partial polling in living memory. Not so much YouGov as “what d’ya want, guv?” Arguments have been foisted on us, and then tame fringe polling organisations have been commissioned to find specious questions to which the answers have been previously determined. As, apparently, with this Daily Torygraph poll.

    As for the “unified swing” notion, the one Aunt Sally repeatedly re-erected to be knocked down, that gets amended every electoral cycle. Else Scotland would still be voting Tory. And the UUP would rule supreme.

    I guarantee one thing: red faces and reverse ferrets by Saturday’s press. Later on, next time, Murdoch will hold fire longer before deciding who’s going to “win”.

    By the way, that background slurping sound is the lefty hordes licking chops in anticipation of opposition. The basso profundo mutter is Old Labour on Vocalzones. Then what will poor Guido do then, poor thing?

    As the great and good President Bartlet said to Congressman Lien: “Welcome, my friend, to the show that never ends.” [series 4, episode 1)

  • Cynic

    “Have the Conservatives peaked too soon?”


  • Cynic


    The words are fine and the delivery was good. But this is the man who brought us bigotgate. He is totally insincere. A machine politician whose motivation is power. He talks of ‘moral convictions’ after supporting two wars, repeatedly lying about the economy, Iraq, cutting Army funding …. the list is endless. He is part of a Government that drove David Kelly to his death when it lied about Iraq. He is a personal bully who throws temper fits and hurls his mobile at aides when he doesn’t get his own way. He is a ruthless political infighter who sets out to destroy those who oppose him and whose closest aides set up a vicious and illegal smear operation run from No 10 Downing Street using Government money for party political purposes.

    Don’t be fooled by the words.

  • cynic @ 9:54 am:

    Next time: don’t pull your punches. You left out the good bit about eating babies. After all, it’s as well documented as the rest of your stuff.

  • The Raven

    Cynic, that wasn’t my point. My point was:

    “you can’t take away from it – it was a speech of passion and preacherman fire”

    Nothing to do with Gordonzola being a bully. And I refer you to the caveats I posted above.

    If you have something of this size and mainstream stature, that made for such a watchable speech, feel free to post it. I’d enjoy watching it.

  • Cynic


    I am sorry for the analogy but Hitler and Stalin were compelling speakers.

    And who can forget the compelling speeches of Bill” I did not have sexual relations with that woman” Clinton or Tony “I’m a pretty straight sort of guy” Blair?

    Words mean nothing without intention and action.

  • Cynic


    I didn’t mention the eating babies because that’s only a rumour, The rest is accurate.