by Stephen Tall on July 3, 2010
A total of 10 voting intention polls during June – some of which, but not all, earned a mention on Lib Dem Voice so let’s bring the story up-to-date …
Here are June’s polls in chronological order of publication:
* Con 36, Lab 30, Lib Dem 25 (1-9 June, Harris)
* Con 40, Lab 32, Lib Dem 18 (10-11 June, YouGov)
* Con 36, Lab 30, Lib Dem 23 (16-17 June, ComRes)
* Con 39, Lab 31, Lib Dem 19 (18-20 June, Mori)
* Con 39, Lab 31, Lib Dem 21 (18-20 June, ICM)
* Con 39, Lab 34, Lib Dem 19 (17-18 June, YouGov)
* Con 41, Lab 33, Lib Dem 18 (20-21 June, YouGov)
* Con 42, Lab 34, Lib Dem 17 (22-23 June, YouGov)
* Con 41, Lab 35, Lib Dem 16 (23-24 June, ICM)
* Con 43, Lab 36, Lib Dem 16 (24-25 June, YouGov)
* Con 40, Lab 31, Lib Dem 18 (29 June, ComRes)
All of which produces an average rating for the parties in June as follows (compared with May’s general election result):
Tories 40% (+3%), Labour 33% (+3%), Lib Dems 19% (-4%)
Of course polls at this stage of the Parliament are meaningless. The Coalition Government is barely six weeks old, and Labour is without a permanent leader. But, regardless, the polls will be closely scrutinised by politicians, the media and supporters alike to try and discern how voters are reacting to the ‘new politics’. So let’s take a look at the figures from each of the main parties’ perspectives …
Tories … Will be very pleased at how their ratings are not only holding up, but are in fact increasing since George Osborne’s austerity budget – moving from the high-30%s to the low-40%s. At least for the moment voters blame Labour for the dire state of the country’s finances, rather than the governing parties; and the measures being taken to get the deficit under control are being seen in that light. There will be more than a flicker of a smile on Tory faces with the current polls.
Labour … For Kabour, too, there is comfort from these figures. Often after defeats opposition parties ratings dip, but in fact Labour is polling above its general election result – though at an average 33% this is still an historically low figure for the party. The immediate reaction to the budget appears to have hardened Labour’s support, even as the Tories also ticked up – suggesting the Lib Dems are suffering somethng of a two-party squeeze at the moment.
Lib Dems … Though there will be little surprise among the party faithful that support has dipped in the wake of such a stringent budget, the potential warning it flags up will cause some jitters: that the Tories will gain the principal benefit of Coalition Government measures of which the public approves, while the Lib Dems will merely antagonise our potential supporters every time the Government in some way disappoints. The immediate drop to 16-18% suggests a reaction against the budget among those who might vote Lib Dem (though it may also reflect a hardening of Tory/Labour supporters’ intentions). Whether this is a short-lived budget response, or part of a pattern we’ll see lasting into the summer only the next few weeks’ polls will show.