There is a new BPIX poll reported for tomorrow’s Daily Mail which also shows a 14% Conservative lead:
Conservative 42% (up 2%)
Labour 28% (up 3%)
Lib Dem 20% (down 2%)
There is a remarkable consistency across tonight’s polls from both YouGov and BPIX.
There is a second new YouGov poll reported for The Sun Newspaper which shows a 14% Conservative lead:
Conservative 42% (up 2%)
Labour 28% (no change)
Lib Dem 19% (up 1%)
I have shown changes against the YouGov poll in the People (the Sun’s sister paper) last Sunday. With so many YouGov polls at the moment it is hard to know what is a fair comparison but at least this poll is in the same ball-park as the earlier Sky News poll.
Conservative 44% (up 4%)
Labour 27% (down 4%)
Lib Dem 17% (down 1%)
As with all polls at this time a note of caution should be injected into any analysis. However, such a leap in the Conservative lead is noteworthy. These poll results if replicated at a General Election would see a huge Conservative majority of 142 with the following seat shares:
Conservative 396 (up 188)
Labour 193 (down 153)
Lib Dem 31 (down 36)
Seat numbers are calculated using Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus website.
Now that the Conservative Conference is over and we have safely returned to our homes it is worth a look at what was said and achieved. Some of the critics used to state that the “Conservatives have no policies”, well after the speeches this week no-one can maintain that line with any credibility.
David Cameron’s end of conference speech was another masterful performance but lower key than some of his previous conference speeches. After “love-bombing” the Lib Dems to considerable effect he made an audacious raid onto Labour’s heartland territory, speaking from his own experience and then pronouncing the Conservative Party to be the “party of the NHS”. He only once became really animated when condemning Labour’s appalling record on poverty and youth unemployment. He set out an agenda for a compassionate Conservatism that would help the poorest whilst tackling the economic crisis and debt that Labour has led us into.
The speech was well received in the hall and from looking at today’s front pages it seems to have been well received by the media. Only the polls later this month will tell us how much effect it has had amongst the general public. I suspect that most people “tune out” party conference coverage but the fluctuations in the polls that occur during the conference season suggest that at least a percentage do pay attention. It is often not the precise words spoken that his home but the overall mood music coming from a conference that counts. The Lib Dems seemed to be in chaos at their conference but the message of an extra tax on the wealthiest home owners may have struck a chord. Labour’s conference was over-shadowed by the decision of The Sun to switch sides and back the Conservatives. The mood music from Manchester was about setting out the stall of an alternative government and showing that the party was united and ready for government.
Also in the main hall we had speeches from guest speakers of which the best for me was the President of the Maldives. Watch it in full here:
Away from the main hall the fringe meetings were packed and Shadow Cabinet members and MPs had exhausting schedules running from one meeting to another. As well as the “Pride” event that I referred to earlier, I also attended fringes on “HIV in the UK” chaired by Dr David Bull and with Dr Simon Barton, Sir Nick Partridge and Mark Pritchard on the panel; “The Enterprise Forum” with Alastair Burt MP; and Iain Dale’s blog readers party. The latter was one of the most entertaining events of the conference. The meeting was packed and refreshments were provided but the highlight was impressionist Steve Nallon running through some of his repertoire of impressions, starting with Margaret Thatcher. For those that don’t know, Steve Nallon was the “Spitting Image” voice of Maggie and he was still spot on with the voice. He had the room in stitches before he then moved on to do a very convincing Ann Widdecombe and Kenneth Williams. As an ardent Spitting Image fan in the 90’s I had tears of laughter running down my face!
I enjoyed this conference more than most others in recent years but now the serious work begins to return a Conservative Government to Westminster and a Conservative Council for Reading next year.