Polling report – Conservatives storm ahead to compound Miliband misery. By Oli Denne.
Not since October 2010 has YouGov shown a 5 point Conservative in it’s weekly monitors but the turn of the year has brought about a sharp shift in voting intention. The full figures are as follows; Con 41, Lab 36, LDEM 9. Whilst a UNS prediction from YouGov is still awaited, this could well be the first time since BEFORE the 2010 election that polling suggests a conservative MAJORITY in parliament. Cameron, for the first time since the end of 2010 is creeping towards a positive approval rating, on -3, compared to -53 for Miliband. This is also significant as it puts Miliband below Clegg for the first time ever. Just 18% of respondents feel that Miliband is performing well as leader of the opposition compared to 44% who think Cameron is performing well as Prime Minister. Whilst there are other questions asked in the YouGov poll, it might be more interesting to look into the reasons for this drastic swing.
First, there is the Euro effect. This provided a great boost for Cameron and although Labour eventually crept ahead going into 2012, the final poll of the year showed the parties tied on 40% each. This has certainly improved perceptions of Cameron as a leader – Miliband, on the other hand, has suffered the reverse impact. The main effect appears to relate to his handling of the economy – respondents showed uncertainty about his policies in this area. However, there also appears to simply be a dislike for Miliband’s character amongst YouGov respondents – a majority claiming he is simply too weak to fullfill the role of PM. Should polling continue this way, the impact would be interesting. It is clear that Labour would struggle to win an election under Ed Miliband however there remains plenty of time for a leadership change. What would be more interesting is to see whether Cameron is tempted to call an election at the end of the year should 2012 continue as it has started. The only certainty in all this, is that considering the bad week the Tories have had (unemployment), it is remarkable that a poll showing such a lead should emerge, and it clearly shows how deeply unpopular Ed Miliband is, at the moment.