The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were in an advanced state of ecstasy today, and not the kind for which Staines became so infamous in his rave-organising days. The Tory Party’s poll ratings had not merely recovered, they had surged: with alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson in charge, The Blue Team had taken a ten point lead over the competition.
A complete Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
Under the routinely pretentious heading of “Guido Data”, the Fawkes massive told readers earlier today “Tories Take 10 Point Lead … Ipsos Mori July 26-30 … Boris bounces 10 points ahead with Ipsos Mori. Reinforcing yesterday’s 10 point lead with YouGov”.Hurrah for Bozo The Clown! It was almost as if someone had decided to consider holding a General Election. After all, Johnson, an inveterate liar, had ruled it out.
So was this the magic bullet the Tories had been craving, their saviour in seeing off both Labour and the Brexit Party? Well, maybe not: Pollster Keiran Pedley, who works for Ipsos Mori, and produces the Polling Matters podcast, had both good and bad news for them.
Here was the less good news. “Bad news for Johnson: Con lead of 10 falls to just 3 when you factor in 'all voters' rather than 'likely voters’. What does this mean? For example, 82% of Con voters say they are 'certain to vote' vs 70% of Labour voters.If Labour narrows that gap in a GE the Con lead shrinks”. So if more Labour voters became likely to vote - as they did two years ago - the gap would narrow. This was a soft bounce.
Pedley had more - for instance, on what voters already thought of Johnson, and how they thought the Government was performing. “Bad news for Johnson: When compared to past PMs that assumed office during a parliament, Johnson's personal satisfaction ratings are worse than Brown's, Major's and May’s. His govt also has the worst satisfaction ratings of any government assuming office in our series too”. No voter honeymoon, then.
Also, Pedley warned that a large majority of voters expected the economic situation to worsen in the near future, which would not be good for an incumbent Government’s poll ratings. “Finally - bad news for Johnson. Despite promising sunshine, there is not a lot of economic optimism about … 58% expect the general economic condition of the country to worsen in the next 12 months. Only 18% expect it to improve”.
Now, Johnson right now has big lead over Corbyn on leader ratings, but Pedley’s conclusion is not optimistic. “So what have we learned? 1) The 'Boris bounce' is real and the new PM significantly leads Corbyn on leader ratings … 2) But there are some signs that this poll bounce is soft and Johnson's ratings are not good for an incoming administration facing such challenges”. The window of opportunity is very small.
Johnson’s problem is, though, that the Parliamentary arithmetic is against him - especially as the Tories may lose today’s by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire, and one of their MPs is seriously considering jumping ship to the Lib Dems. If both of those happen, their Parliamentary majority, even with the DUP on board, will evaporate.
So with that temporary poll bounce and little else in his favour, Bozo The Clown, as Harry Callahan might have observed, has to ask himself one question. Does he feel lucky?
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