Over the past few months, we have tracked the waning confidence of party members in the Cabinet’s performance (bar a handful of exceptions) in our monthly League Table.
Another question we always ask is what our respondents think will be the outcome of the next general election – and here too, grassroots optimism has waned over the summer.
More than half (54.5 per cent) still expect a Conservative majority. This is not unreasonable, given that the Government is still holding up pretty well in the polls and Labour have a big electoral mountain to climb, especially if Sir Keir Starmer can’t make some progress in Scotland.
But this is down from almost three quarters when we last checked in on this question in August. The two options in second and third place are respectively a Labour majority (13.5 per cent) and a Labour-led coalition (11 per cent).
For the present, this is a somewhat academic question. Unless the Government gets around to repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (and references to 2024 on the latest merchandise suggests this might not be at the forefront of CCHQ’s mind), the next election is years off. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that a quite extraordinary amount of politics can happen in that time.
But it does illustrate once again that the mounting apprehension which has been so often reported on amongst Tory MPs is shared by their activists. Will the Prime Minister’s conference performance have lifted their spirits?