Labour enjoys five-point bounce in poll
Conservatives still have a 12-point lead, but voters back Brown over handling of the recession
Sunday 04 October 2009
Gordon Brown's solid performance in Brighton last week helped Labour to a post-conference bounce, but the party still lags far behind the Tories, a new opinion poll reveals today.
Labour's projected share of the vote rose by five points in less than a week during the party conference, from 23 per cent last Monday to 28 per cent on Thursday, according to the ComRes survey.
However, the Conservatives managed at the same time to increase their support from the electorate – even though they were away from the news headlines – finishing the week two points up, on 40 per cent.
Although the Tory lead was down from 17 points on a corresponding poll in The Independent on Sunday in August, it would still be enough to win David Cameron a hefty 46-seat majority if it were repeated at a general election. One in eight people who supported Labour in the 2005 election has now switched to the Tories.
But the poll raises serious questions about Labour's strategy of targeting the middle classes, in their effort to close the gap on the Conservatives. Up to a third of voters from the lower socio-economic classes declared that they were "certain not to vote" next time – suggesting that Mr Brown should be concentrating on encouraging his party's core supporters to vote.
The survey also suggests that many voters are now ready to give the Prime Minister the credit for rescuing Britain from recession, but they are not convinced that Cameron would have struggled to handle the crisis. Exactly half of those questioned agreed that Mr Brown "took the right decisions to prevent the recession turning into a slump", but less than a third believed the recession would have been worse if Mr Cameron had been prime minister.
Significantly, however, despite Mr Cameron's popularity, almost half of voters confess that they don't know exactly what he stands for – and the figure has remained steady for the past 15 months. Most worrying of all for the Tories is the fact that a third of their own voters don't know what their party leader stands for.
The poll results also appear to lay Alan Johnson's leadership chances to rest. Barely a third agree that he would make a better prime minister than Gordon Brown – six points down on six months ago.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...