Cameron wobbles while Brown has his best day as the polls suggest no progress for the Tories

The polls tonight are moving in a way that makes even more uncertain the result of the 2010 General Election (or should that be the May 2010 General Election?).  An Ipsos MORI poll, usually the most reliable / least contaminated of all polls, has a poll taken in 57 marginal seats currently held by Labour, has Labour on 36%, the Tories on 36%, and the Lib Dems on 20%.  

A YouGov poll for the Sun, often the one that gives the Tories the most favourable result, has the Tories on 35%, Labour on 28% and the Lib Dems 28%.  This poll, even if it is correct, would not give the Tories a majority by some distance.  Another poll published tonight, by Opinium for the Daily Express, has Labour on 28%, the Tories on 33% and the Lib Dems on 27%.

Cameron has begun talking up his prospects, saying what he will do on Friday and in the first weeks in government.  Others are being more cautious.  Even Sky News, which has all but announced the Coronation of Cameron, has just said that the election is “too close to call”.   What must be worrying for the Tories is that, in spite of the overwhelming promotion of his cause by the media, the polls are not moving in the direction that would see a Tory government elected.

One other development worth noting was Brown’s inspiring speach which most observers, even tradional Tory supporters, praised very highly.  With two days to go, anything could yet happen. There was a very interesting discussion on the Election Show on BBC News this evening.  It wasn’t about the March of the Cameron into Downing Street.  No, it was the problem Cameron will face on Friday.  If after his massive poll lead for well over a year cannot deliver a majority, then there will be immediate moves within the Tory Party over his leadership.  Even if he forms a minority government (he has ruled out electoral reform thereby making a coalition with the Lib Dems impossible, unless Nick Clegg sells out on day one!), he won’t have a mandate to make the cuts he is planning.

One final development, Peter Hain in tomorrow’s Independent, is calling for Labour supporters in ‘no hope areas for Labour’ to “vote intelligently”.  This is the nearest a Labour Cabinet member has gone in calling for tactical votes.  Had he gone further, he would have been in breach of Labour Party rules, and he would have faced immediate expulsion.  But the message is clear from Hain: vote tactically to keep the Tories out.

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9 Responses

  1. Here’s a link to the poll
    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=2604

    For me the most striking aspect is the number of undecideds, “almost half say they may change their vote before May 6th”. And that’s mainly between Labour and Lib Dem (nationally).

    My gut feeling is that we’ll see an unprecedented level of tactical voting this Thursday to keep Cameron out and that a Lib-Lab coalition will be the result. I’m not sure that Gordon Brown will have enough of a mandate to remain as PM though.

    Locally, my experience from canvassing this week is that the Green vote is firming up, which is a relief, we were always worried that the media focus on the big 3 once the election was called would harm us. I think this is partly because of the visibility of the window poster support, also a lot of the undecideds tell me that their friends are encouraging them to vote Green, a positive sign of our momentum.

  2. I do think that people overall are not convinced about having a hung Parliament and may well try to secure a majority government – in as much as anyone can. The key for the prospects for Labour is the continuing success of the Lib Dems – as they will make Tory gains much harder to achieve, even if they don’t win many more seats themselves. However, I have a depressing feeling that all this talk of hung parliaments/coalitions/breaking the mould etc will come to nothing, and we will be faced with a 1992 re-run of a small Tory majority – having talked about little but hung parliaments/tactical voting etc. I expect the Lib Dem vote to fall away in the last couple of days – not by too much, but enough to make the difference. Hope to be wrong. Perhaps a bit of over-confidence from Cameron could still blow it for him – although having thrown away most of such a massive lead he has pretty well blown it already – even if he does become PM. His insistance on the TV debates will hopefully come back to haunt him.

    Credit to Hain for sticking his neck out. Sorry to mention it again, but a shame that the Greens don’t do the same locally.

  3. Mr Faust, it’s a bit rich to accuse a party seeking its first seat of not supporting tactical voting. Green Party is throwing everything at Brighton Pavilion this year, our brave candidates in Hove and Kemptown have been left to their own devices!

    Again, my impression from the doorstep is that 75% are quite keen on a hung parliament and seeing politicians work together.

    I think it was Andrew Rawnsley who said the Britsh public have a knack for exploiting the “first past the post” system to get the national result they want. I notice Ed Balls is tacitly encouraging tactical voting tonight too.

  4. Unfortunately this comes too late, at least two years too late. If we’d heard some of this campaigning zeal then, and maybe even practical measures to implement these ideas, I would have a reason to support Gordon Brown, but he is finished now, even if the quirks in our voting system have the appalling effect of letting this most unpopular Labour government hang on to power. The significance of the Rochdale “bigot” incident is that it threw into sharp focus what we all know, that he has no integrity, which, given his lack of media savvy, or indeed social graces, should be a vital asset. Unfortunately though he lacks the moral courage, which he says he so admires in his own political heroes. He’s been PM for 2 years now, and I still don’t know what he really stands for. Right now I’d even prefer Mandelson. He may be a devious lying snake, but at least he’s good at it, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else,The Labour party too, like its leader, is exhausted from too much time in power, and directionless. They need a period of reflection and consolidation. They should accept what the Governor of the Bank of England said, that there this is a very good election to lose. I sincerely hope that Cameron will go on to form the most unpopular government of recent years, and that the Tories will be slaughtered in 5 years time.

  5. That Gordon Brown has the gall to stand there in front of Citizens UK and call upon people to ‘March’ for fairness and greater equality goes beyond the bounds of cant and hypocrisy.Who are we to march against ? Has he forgotten that he has been in charge for the last 13 years? Who was paying the women that he paraded so little that they were in tears because of their financial difficulties?Who has presided over this growth in inequality in a government that prides itself with being ‘intensely comfortable’ with people becoming ‘filthy rich’?

    Inequality is corrosive to the very fabric of our society.

    Only the Greens are brave enough to take this issue on with concrete measures such as the Citizens Income, the raising of the minimum wage, a guaranteed weekly pension of 170 pounds and a progressive tax system that is not ashamed to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest.
    Only measures such as these can address the gross inequality in Britain that is such an indictment of the society in which we live.
    Labour has let us down – they do not deserve another chance.
    At least in Brighton there is the opportunity to show that ‘Fair’ is a belief, not merely a slogan.

    • Only the Greens are ludicrous enough to think that squeezing the rich will result in a fairer society.

      Do you not remember the 1970s?

      x

    • Under Labour the gap between rich and poor has widened – but the poorest are better off than they were -particularly due to the minimum wage and child tax credits. Labour have let us down in some ways – but in others are not being given the credit, particularly by those who have left them. Let’s not forget the huge reduction in hospital waiting lists, and improvements in health care generally; the improvements in school buildings and standards, the historically low level of inflation (which protects the poorest in society most), low interest rates, crime reduced by 30-40%; huge amounts of the poorest countries debt wiped out; civil partnerships; ban on fox hunting; constitutional change through devolution and massive reduction in the number of hereditary peers.

      As for th idea that the Green manifesto represents redistribution – 87% of us will be better off – so that includes everyone up to the richest 13%. Redistributing from the very rich to the not quite so rich. The mininmum wage committment would only result in people out of work if attempted at once. There is no equality if you don’t have a job in the first place.

      The Green manifesto, if implemented, would bankrupt the country – leaving the most vulnerable members of society to take the brunt of the cuts that would have to follow. What’s fair about that?

  6. Interesting Blog! Only just discovered it and a bit late in the campaign unfortunately!

    I was recently left traumatised after Cameron and his Tory cronies visited the college I work at…photos and rant here:

    http://www.ourworldmyeye.com

  7. I have found a great deal of interest in all this by teenagers, some of whom can now vote. And, indeed, there is five years’ worth of those who could not vote last time. A significant amount. One stopped me i nthe street and told me that at a school discussion Charlotte Vere had taken some flak from them, and that afterwards she had said to a teacher that she expected her car would have been “keyed”. Rather like her going off on a rant about teenage pregnancies at the Independent debate.

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