LabourHome’s poll of members – and the finding that 54% of Labour members want Brown to go – gets on the front page of The Independent this morning. Alex Hilton and Jag Singh of LabourHome are getting it in the neck from many Labour bloggers, eg Luke Akehurst, for conducting the poll: "The only utility of which can be to damage individual ministers and the
the Party the day before the start of a crucial party conference."
I suppose we can claim some credit for the story. LabourHome was formed as a response to this site and the surveys were a copy of our own surveys. LibDemVoice has also started surveying its readers – sometimes in ways uncomfortable for Nick Clegg.
In the past, I’ve faced attacks for ConHome’s own surveys of Tory members. They have often made uncomfortable reading for our own leadership. Some believe that this makes them undesirable. Perhaps, but I still believe that the leadership should heed the views of the people who work so hard for Conservative success. My belief is that David Cameron, as leader, deserves loyalty from all Tory members but he doesn’t own the party. We deserve our say – a say uncensored by party officials or mainstream media gatekeepers.
I’ve often defended our own surveys but now seems a good time to do so again:
- The Independent reports that the LabourHome survey covers 788 members. Our surveys are nearly always at least twice as large.
- Our survey accurately predicted
the outcome of the 2005 Tory leadership race and is still checked
against that sample. That doesn’t mean it’s completely accurate but it
means that it is at the very least indicative.
- Controversially for some, we didn’t publish results last September that showed more members unhappy with David Cameron,
than were happy. It was an uncomfortable decision to take but one that
Sam Coates and I thought right. We don’t get always the judgments
right but my belief is that ConHome should be more critical of the
party when its politically strong and more guarded when it’s down.
For the record, The Independent has also asked to have an exclusive
on ConHome’s September survey of members (no payment will be
received). More than 90% of members were satisfied with David Cameron
in our last poll. The results, I hope, will be interesting but they
won’t cause Mr Cameron any sleepless nights.