A Level Politics

Improving your grade

Is public opinion shifting back to Labour?

Posted by Matt Walker on November 23, 2009

PD*25604954 Yesterday’s MORI opinion poll published by the Observer, suggests that Labour’s electoral position relative to the Tories might be improving. So what does this tell us?

Firstly, as I pointed out yesterday, it shows that it will be difficult for the Conservatives to win a decent overall majority next year. They have to win a lot of seats, and first-past-the-post is currently working against them. They need around a 10% lead over Labour to have a majority of only one.

Secondly, this poll suggests that the Tories are not terrifically popular. Their average public support in recent months is around 41%, despite the difficulties the Labour government has found itself in. Disgruntled Labour voters seem to be shifting to smaller parties, rather than being won over by David Cameron.

Thirdly, Labour might now hope for a recovery in their levels of support owing to public perception regarding the economy. Around 46% of people believe that the economy will improve over the next year. If this enables Labour to close the gap on the Tories, it will deny the latter a working majority.

Finally, it seems that any recovery for Labour will have to be achieved in the face of continued public opposition to Gordon Brown. Nearly 60% of people are not satisfied with his performance as prime minister.

What’s your gut feeling out there? Who will be governing this country come next summer?

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4 Responses to “Is public opinion shifting back to Labour?”

  1. Charlie Bollaan said

    How very exciting- How many coalition governments have their been in the previous century?

    • Matt Walker said

      Not many, Charlie! There were coalitions in the First and Second World Wars, and a sort of coalition in the 1930s, though it was dominated by the Tories. In the 1974-9 parliament, Labour were in a minority, and were propped up by the Liberals – but it wasn’t a coalition.

      But befoe you get too excited, another opinion poll has put the Tories 17% ahead of Labour!

  2. Charlie Bollaan said

    really- damn it, just goes to show how fickle people are

    so why is everyone talking about a hung parliament although its very unlikely there will be one?

    • Matt Walker said

      There are problems with opinion polls, Charlie:
      a) different organisations have different methods or make different assumptions about what a representative sample is;
      b) some people will like to the pollster!

      My feeling is that the Tories are 10-14% ahead at the moment.

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