Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Latest Poll Findings Are Bad News For Cameron

The Times is reporting the outcome of a Populus poll taken between October 6-8. This will make sober reading for the Tories after what many thought was a solid conference last week.

The poll shows that Labour and the Conservatives are neck and neck when it comes to voting intentions. This, despite the weeks and weeks of fighting.

The positive news for Cameron is that he still beats all of the other candidates in a head to head comparison. The Times states:

"...David Cameron would comfortably defeat Labour at the next general election in three or four years whether the party were led by Gordon Brown, John Reid or Alan Johnson. Support for the Tories would be 40 per cent or more in each of these cases with Labour reaching no higher than 34 per cent. A consolation for Mr Brown is that Labour would do no better under either Mr Reid or Mr Johnson."

However, this is somewhat misleading. Any new leader of the Labour party would expect a bounce of their own and a honeymoon period in which they would see their poll ratings climb. This would be particularly true for the lesser known candidates of Reid and Johnson. Cameron's true lead is, therefore, much lower.

Without a sustained and real lead in the polls, there will be increasing calls from the right of the Conservative party for the kinds of policies that were swept under the carpet at last week's conference. Cameron has tried to jettison recent history and shift the party, but it will only work if he can deliver success. Failure and loyalty won't mix.

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