A Populus poll for The Times will pour a little cold water on recent Tory enthusiasm. Labour is 1% ahead according to the poll (it was 2% ahead one month ago). Other recent surveys by the major pollsters have all shown the Tories ahead:
- 5% ahead according to Ipsos-MORI;
- 5% according to ICM;
- 8% up according to ComRes; and
- 3% ahead according to YouGov.
The crude mean average of these five results gives the Conservatives a 4% lead in the ConservativeHome Poll of Polls. The big conclusion for the Conservatives after the drama of recent weeks is that there is still a lot to do if the party is to win a working parliamentary majority.
The other notable factor – true in today’s poll and in other recent surveys – is that the LibDems are edging up again. Mike Smithson is suggesting that the LibDem recovery from "miserable" levels is currently at the expense of both major parties. I hope he’ll give us more on the relative proportions as the weeks and months pass.
As is nearly always true the most interesting data from Populus is not from the headline numbers. Voters’ perceptions of Brown and Cameron are summarised in The Times’ chart below. They show reasonable improvement in Cameron’s ratings and further erosion of Brown’s standing. Now we know that the race to polling day is a marathon, not a sprint, we need a strategy to ensure that The Erosion Of Brown continues. He is beatable. We need to decide on the right strategy to expose his most significant flaws. Please come back at 10am for my own thoughts on that.