Sensational figures from the Times’s pollster
The February Populus Poll to be published in the Times tomorrow puts Labour on 41% – just one point less than it achieved in the 2001 General Election. The vote shares showing the variation since January are: LAB 41 (+3): CON 32 (-1): LD 18 (-2).
These are staggering figures and mean that pollster has Labour up from 28% in September when Populus had them in third place.
In the same period the pollster has the Lib Dems plummeting by 11%. The Tory figure has been fairly constant, on 33%, since November.
The Lib Dems will be disappointed to see their lowest share for more than a year – particularly as Populus used to be the firm that gave them the highest figures. The only consolation for the Tories is that the move to Labour has mostly been at the Lib Dems expense and not theirs.
Populus is the most volatile of the pollsters currently surveying the British political scene and has, at times, had figures which have put it out of line with the other firms. Last week Populus became the only pollster to rate Labour ahead on immigration. In the Times poll the Tories are now 8% ahead on this issue – a huge change in just nine days.
If these trends are followed by the other pollsters then Labour will be heading for another huge majority. The result will be very similar to last time.
In December Populus made major changes in its methodology which increased Labour’s lead by 3%.
There’s little doubt that the survey will arrest the move back to the Tories on the spread-betting markets.
Â© Mike Smithson 2005