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The Dave “one year in” hype: the PBC contribution

December 5th, 2006

Cameron-Blair MORI-ICM  poll improvement.JPG

    Month by month how Cameron’s first year compares with Blair’s

With virtually every political commentator wanting to get into the act of writing something about Cameron’s first year I thought I would take a different tack and compare his fortunes with Tony Blair in the twelve months after he got the Labour leadership.

By taking the Mori and ICM poll ratings from Blair’s first year in 1994-95 I’ve produced two charts comparing the Blair poll movements with those that Cameron has experienced. But instead of showing the main figures I’ve worked out in each case month by month the “added value” that the new leaders brought.

The charts show the increase/decrease in the margin over the Tories/Labour compared with the average that the pollsters were showing for the quarter before their elections. So in the three months before Blair became leader in 1994 Mori reported an average lead over the Tories of 25%. In the first month afterwards that had soared to 33% so the Blair “added value” is recorded at 8 points.


    What’s extraordinary is how similar their first year experiences were with a number of the troughs and the peaks happening at exactly the same stage.

The big difference between Blair and Cameron is the starting point. With both pollsters Blair had enormous leads in 1994 whereas the Tories started with a big deficit.

Only ICM and MORI have been used for this comparison because they are the only pollsters operating today which were also carrying out surveys in 1994/95. Because Mori was not using its “only those certain to vote” measure twelve years ago I have used the “all respondents naming a party” data.

    A salutary thought for the Tories is that even though Labour climbed to 53% with ICM in 1995 the party fell back to a 44% share of the actual vote in the 1997 General Election – the level from which Tony Blair had started 33 months earlier.

Make of this what you will.

Mike Smithson






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