Latest Poll Information for 16 April
|Party||Sky News Poll Tracking||LSE Poll Tracking|
|Per cent||Per cent|
|Last Change||16 April||16 April|
No change for Labour in either our or Sky’s measure today- they are both steady on 31 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats up 1 per cent to 21 per cent in both measures. The big surprise today is the Conservatives – they drop from 37 and 38 per cent on Wednesday to 36 per cent (Sky’s measure mirrors our own exactly for all the parties), to give a Con/Lab gap of only 5 per cent.
Recently we’ve looked at the Conservatives task in a couple of different ways. Bob Worcester asked why they seemed unable to attain their ‘magic 40 per cent’, and today the distance for them to this goal is greater than ever. They have actually got there only twice so far in this campaign, in two YouGov Polls (where they briefly rated 40 and 41 per cent respectively).
Meanwhile Patrick Dunleavy pointed out in another blog the salience of 34 per cent for both the Tories and Labour, that is to say, of an even split of votes left when a one third chunk is taken off (to allow for the Liberal Democrats and the Other parties, still running relatively well).For the Conservatives, getting 34 per cent could spell disaster in terms of even coming close to parity in terms of MPs with Labour. And yet now they are only two points above this level. In most polls the Tories are achieving scores of around 36 to 38 per cent, and one or two have had them on 35.
By contrast, for Labour and Gordon Brown getting the party’s support back to 34 per cent would be a comeback triumph. And yet here too, despite the Tories edging down, Labour has not yet benefited. The party still seems stuck between 30 and 33 per cent, and a ComRes poll this week even put them as low as 29 per cent (which is 1 to 2 per cent lower than other recent ComRes results).
The big political news of the day (just surviving the Icelandic volcano challenge) is of course, last night’s Leader’s Debate on ITV. It’s too early still for orthodox polling results to take into account any impacts from Nick Clegg’s stellar performance (judging by instant feedback polls), a Gordon Brown more impressive on substance and perhaps more confident than expected, and David Cameron’s perhaps vaguer and less impressive than expected performance. Equally the event as a whole proved more watchable and faster-paced than expected. By this weekend and early next week we should see if it begins to make any difference.
The debate’s unprecedented exposure certainly cannot do the Liberal Democrats any harm. The difficulty for Clegg will be that when the ‘shock of the new’ wears off, this initial favourable impression on voters who knew little about him may not be such as easy act to repeat.