As readers will see, we measure three ways in which David Cameron could make it back to Downing Street: with a majority, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, or as leader of a minority Conservative Government – whether supported by Confidence and Supply arrangements or not. (We should perhaps ask about other possible coalition arrangements.)
Below are the figures from Party member respondents for each month of this year. The most striking aspect is the steady rise in those now expecting a Conservative minority government. They were 28 per cent of the total in September – level with what was then the high for the year recorded in August – and have now reached 38 per cent of it.
It is this increase which accounts for the margin-of-error finding of the second largest total of party members this year expecting Cameron to return to Downing Street. What accounts for the shift to belief that a minority Tory Government will happen? My best guess is the combination of Ed Miliband’s weakness, the continuing economic recovery, tense Coalition relations, and the way in which the current distribution of the vote works against a Conservative majority.
The comparative figures for non-Party member respondents for this month are as follows – 10 per cent, 14 per cent and 37 per cent: so a total of 60 per cent of them expect Cameron to go back to Downing Street as Prime Minister, compared to 69 per cent of Party member respondents.
Over 800 party member respondents replied to the survey. The results are tested against a control panel that was supplied by YouGov.