James Forsyth

What today’s polls tell us

What today's polls tell us
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The national YouGov poll and the one of northern marginals out today give us a sense of the electoral lay of the land. The national poll result which has the Tories below 40 percent and failing to win an overall majority shows that the Tories remain quite a way from sealing the deal. However, the poll of northern marginals which has the Tories on 42 percent suggests that the Tory marginal seats strategy is working. Indeed, whenever you talk to Tory candidates in Labour held marginals you are struck by just how confident they are; something that is particularly striking given how jumpy candidates normally are.

I suspect that the Tory strategic response to these disappointing national poll results will be three-fold. First, there will be an emphasis on what Tory strategists call ‘counter-intuitive’ change messages, policies designed to show that the Tories have changed. Second, there will be an attempt to ‘weaponise’ the policies the Tories already have—it is striking that only 26 percent think the Tories will improve education, despite the Tories having a plan for a whole cadre of new schools. Third, we’ll see an effort to reassert the Tory advantage in their traditional areas of strength; only 19 percent of voters believe a Tory government will cut crime.