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Labour’s YouGov lead down six points

November 25th, 2005
    1 in 13 Labour supporters switch to the Tories

The November YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph reports a big cut in Labour’s lead and is the first significant polling movement since the Tories started to get a lot of media attention from their leadership contest.

Until today the Cameron-Davis fight had not appeared to have had an impact on the General Election voting intention of the main pollsters. All eyes will now be on ICM, Populus and Mori to see if they are picking up the same trends.

Today’s YouGov shares with the changes on last month are CON 35 (+3): LAB 37 (-3): LD 20 (+1).

    Given that the Lib Dems have also shown an increase it look as though there has been a move of three points from Labour to the Tories. This is a big change because recent experience is that reductions in Labour’s margin have been attributable to rises in the Lib Dem share – not to Lab-Con switching.

Such volatility in a single month is very unusual for YouGov which, with its large sample sizes and internet methodology, has a history of recording relatively small jumps. Until today the pollster had had the Tories in a range of 31-33% since the General Election.

For the Lib Dems there will be some relief that in spite of all the attention on the Tories they have managed a small increase.

The poll has some other good news for the Tories – more than half those questioned thought that the party’s chances of winning the next General Election were getting better. On Labour those surveyed split 72-10 on the proposition that the overall standing of Labour was getting worse.

This poll is what many have been expecting given the huge focus there has been on the Davis-Cameron fight. The big question is whether this change will be sustained. I think we are going to have to wait several months before we can draw firm conclusions.

Charles Kennedy betting. We have temporaily withdrawn our story on the new “Will Charles Kennedy go” betting market because there is some ambivalence on the time scale and the precise terms of the bet. Thanks to Guido for pointing this out.

Mike Smithson






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