Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's the way you tell 'em

The Telegraph reports that the Tories have "extended" their lead over Labour in the polls, but it is a dubious claim.

The way the Telegraph phrases the headline would tend to make one think that the Tories are gaining support when this is not actually the case. In fact, considering all that has gone on over the last year or so, support for the Tory Party remains unchanged and stubbornly lacklustre at 41%. The reality is that support for the Labour Party continues to drain away but not significantly to the Lib Dems and certainly not to the Tories.

The Telegraph goes on to say ....

Last month's poll by YouGov for The Daily Telegraph found that Mr Brown's government was as unpopular as John Major's the year before his party suffered a landslide general election defeat.

..... but neglects to point out that Labour enjoyed poll results predicting a 47% share of the vote at the time - a full 6 points higher than Cameron's Tory Party can manage. I can understand that the Telegraph would be keen to talk up the Tories chances of winning the next election, but if I were Cameron I would be wondering why it is that the Tory Party is failing to make any significant inroads. Sure, they have a significant lead in the polls, but that is purely down to falling support for the Labour Party and not due to any significant rise in support for the Conservatives.

And given that the electoral map of Britain is far from simple, I am still not convinced that 41% share in the opinion polls will translate into a comprehensive victory for Cameron. Far from it in fact. I believe - with the way constituencies are set up and the virtual absence of Tory support outside of England - the Tories would need to be regularly polling close to 50% to achieve even a significant majority let alone a landslide.

As long as the Tories continue to bumble along at the 40% mark we're heading for either a slim Tory majority or a hung parliament. Either way, it's still not good reading for Cameron no matter how much spin you ladle on to it.

2 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

The only way that Cameron's Tories will increase their share of the vote is practically anathema to them. They'll have to go populist and steal some of UKIP's policies (Lisbon referenda/ EU pull-out) Allow a full English parliament (and all that entails for the UK) and/or finally replace Cameron with Hannan.

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