Small earthquake in opinion polls, few non-Tory casualties

There is a rather worrying opinion poll reported in today’s Daily Telegraph.  (I should really call it the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph.  The Today Programme on Radio 4 always refers to the Mirror as the “Labour-supporting Mirror” although mysteriously never refers to other papers being Tory-supporting).

The poll carried out by Crosby/Textor in 100 of the most marginal non-Tory seats had the Tories on 43%, Labour 31% and the Lib Dems 20%.  This, according to the pollsters, would see the Tories winning 74 seats from Labour (but not, presumably, Brighton Pavilion where the Green’s Caroline Lucas is likely to win), but none at all from the Lib Dems.

We are told that there is a hunger for change, and Labour will no doubt be the big loser, but the Tories are still unlikely to be the big winner.  If the nation wants change, it is not a change to the Tories.

I have a problem with the Crosby/Textor poll.  First of all, who the heck are Crosby/Textor?  They are hardly Mori, not even YouGov.  They sound a bit like the odd bunch who conducted the rogue poll that put Labour ahead in Brighton Pavilion.  It is a shame that the Telegraph chose not to publish a constituency by constituency breakdown of the poll, nor did the Telegraph state how many individuals were actually interviewed in total and in each constituency.

So, on first reading this poll rang alarm bells, but on reflection I feel that the campaign in the marginals still have a long way to go.  Tonight’s debate by our glorious leaders could yet have a significant impact on the outcome, assuming they don’t bore us to death in this sanitised debate.  Bring on a Santos/Vinnick debate where they abandoned the rules.  But that was fiction, not real politics!

The Tories are losing the election and the plot; Labour could yet win the election!

With the publication of every opinion poll, the chances of a Conservative victory in May become more remote.  Tonight’s ICM poll for the Guardian puts the Tories on 37% (down 3%), Labour on 30% (up 1%) and the Lib Dems on 20% (down 1%).

It appears that any immediate harm caused by Bullygate has been off-set by the Piers Morgan effect. And there is a sense that people are feeling that the alleged bully is, in fact, the bullied.

It now looks that we are heading for a hung parliament.  That’s not great for the economy, but better than having Chancellor George Osborne.

What is most fascinating about this poll are the underlying trends. The Tories have also lost ground on key policy issues, not least the economy, and also appear to be losing their campaign against Labour’s so-called death tax. Labour leads the Tories by eight points as the party with the best policy on care for the elderly.

The negative campaigning of the Tories is proving to be counter-productive. 

The possibility of Labour win in May should not be ruled out. It was always likely that, when faced with entrusting Cameron and Osborne with their financial future and that of the country, the voters would lose confidence, prefering to go with Brown and Darling.  Cameron and Osborne look lightweight by comparison.  They really don’t have it.