James Forsyth

Why the Tories’ internal polling matters

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Iain Martin and Tim Montgomerie are both reporting that the Conservatives have hired YouGov to do polling for them. This might seem like the ultimate Westminster insider story but it will actually have ramifications for the election campaign as a whole.

I understand that the Tory deal with YouGov will mean that they will get polling within the day on their morning announcements and the like. They will also have numbers on which moments in the leaders’ debates resonated with the voters about two hours after these debates finish, enabling them to have whole ad campaigns ready to go for the next morning.

The nature of the party’s polling has been controversial in Conservative circles for a while. As I reported a few weeks ago, Steve Hilton doesn’t use the party’s polling in formulating strategy. There are also criticisms of it from the right, some of which Tim vocalises in his post. But my information is that Populus will carry on polling for the party and that YouGov’s work is additional polling for the election campaign.