Will the poll erosion become a slide?
Another poll comes and another poll shows that the Conservatives lead in the opinion polls; if not sliding then certainly eroding. The question then becomes whether this will become a more decisive slide and the ‘game’ really is back on. I would tend to think that Conservatives are still in a strong position but the shallowness of their advantage is being exposed by recent events.
As UK Polling Report points out;
In recent weeks we’ve seen a couple of polls showing a 10 point lead that on a strict uniform swing would have produced a hung Parliament, but in practice they’d probably have produced a Tory majority.
So, Cameron need not panic yet but the definite trend is a turn downwards in his parties poll ratings. This will also change the media narrative as has been made apparent this morning in The Times who ran an editorial saying that Cameron had yet to make a compelling case for a Conservative government and The Guardian which said that the prospects of a Conservative landslide seem to have vanished.
Problems arise from this alone in that if the mood music changes more brittle Conservative support may flake away as the narrative changes from how awful the government is to asking what the opposition will do about it. Another problems is that accusations like those that appear on Conservative Home that Cameron’s problem is his neglect of the ‘Conservative base’ will become louder and louder.
Conservative Home takes much succor from the findings of the Populus poll that the Conservatives do not favour the rich and the privileged but their case becomes less convincing when you consider that a YouGov survey found 52% felt the exact opposite. Indeed, the Populus findings are likely to my mind to be due to either the questioning or the sample that was taken so unrepresentative.
I think Labour’s ‘class warfare’ does resonate with certain sections of voters more than others and that is natural. For those sections it doesn’t it will presumably be pinning its hopes on a marked recovery in economic optimism. This is essentially not a bad idea; to rally the core vote with stirring rhetoric and election broadcasts and worry the middle classes that Cameron and Co are untested.
It may well pay dividends but the test will be for Labour to then time an election right; leave it too long and fatigue will set in, go too early and they will still be too far behind. I still think forming an overall majority is beyond them because of the fatigue factor so the question is will it strengthen voices within the Labour Party who want to move them closer towards us?