Boris’s poll slump isn’t such good news for Starmer

Labour narrowing the poll gap with the Conservatives has got to be good news for Keir Starmer, right? Wrong, actually. Let me tell you why it isn’t and why the recent tightening of the polls should leave us more convinced than ever that the Conservatives are on course for a comfortable victory at the next general election. First off, let’s take the headline data. Politico Europe’s poll of polls is as good a place to find it as any and it tells us that on 23 June the Tories were averaging 43 per cent, to Labour’s 33 per cent. By 29 July, the Tories were scoring 40 per cent to Labour’s

A plea from a pollster: stop listening to the public

When Dominic Cummings released his WhatsApp messages with Boris Johnson earlier this month, perhaps the most alarming was the one where both men fretted about ‘trends in polls and lots of focus groups over the past 2 weeks’. The texts, dated 27 April 2020, also saw the Prime Minister asking about ‘tonight[‘s] focus group and polls’. At the heart of government, at the height of the pandemic, public health decisions and the Prime Minister’s thought process were clearly being steered heavily by a perceived negative public reaction. I am a pollster. There are many advantages in knowing what the public think. It ensures politicians do not let otherwise hidden resentments

Is Sadiq Khan paying the political price of Covid?

When the London Mayoral election was delayed due to the pandemic, no one was particularly outraged: the prospect of Sadiq Khan’s re-election seemed secure and Shaun Bailey, the Tory challenger, was nowhere to be seen. But that might be changing. Internal polling by the Tory party, leaked to the Telegraph, suggests that Londoners have not been best pleased at the city’s recent fate – and Bailey is only seven points behind, at 35 to Khan’s 42 per cent. This is quite the difference from a March YouGov poll putting Bailey at a fairly hopeless 23 per cent. It’s not that Bailey has been much more visible – but it’s easy