Need to Know | 30th October 2014

May 2015: The 3 things you need to know today

1. Are the Greens now ahead of the Lib Dems? Not really. YouGov’s overnight […]

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1. Are the Greens now ahead of the Lib Dems?

Not really. YouGov’s overnight tracking poll put them on 7 per cent last night, 1 per cent of the Lib Dems, but YouGov polls five times a week, and the margin of error on these polls is 3 per cent.

So 7 per cent really means 4-10 per cent, and the Lib Dems’ 6 per cent means 3-9 per cent. The Greens could really be on 4 per cent and the Lib Dems on 9 per cent and yesterday’s poll would still be “accurate”.

In other words, we need more polls showing the new Green lead before the Lib Dems are pilloried with this latest indignity. The Greens jumped to 8 per cent in Ashcroft’s weekly poll ten days ago before falling back this week to 5 per cent.

These theoretical national polls also don’t account for the extra votes the Lib Dems will get in May when voters consider local candidates. Lib Dem MPs are far more popular than the national party. They will fare better when elections are made local, as they are on election day.

Nevertheless, these polls are a big step for the Greens, who only polled 1 per cent at the last election. As long as they don’t actually join a government and make decisions they’ll be fine.

2. Labour collapse complete as Tories all but tie in the polls

Should YouGov’s overnight poll ruin a compelling story, that the polls are now tied?

As well as causing waves by putting the Greens ahead, their poll put Labour back in front, after their last four had shown three ties and one 1-point Labour lead.

But three other pollsters put the parties even this weekend, with only Populus dissenting (they say Labour are still ahead by 2).

The overall trend is, however, clear: Labour’s lead is now negligible, if it exists at all. In eighteen months they have lost a ten-point cushion – Ukip’s rise has helped carve away more than a fifth of their support, while the Tories seem stuck in the low 30s despite the improving economy.

3. Cameron commits to tax cuts

“The simplest to help with living standards is this: allow people to take home more of their own money,” the Prime Minister has written in today’s Times: a sentiment which would leave Britain’s poor penniless if carried to its extreme.

Stat of the day: 40 per cent of voters don’t trust any of the party leaders.

Cameron unveiled £7bn of tax cuts at the Tory conference last month, which Labour and much of the left decried as unfunded.

But today’s Datablast shows that Cameron and the Tories are still the most trusted party on the economy.

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Their quips at Labour – “what is morally wrong is government spending money as if it grows on trees” – work. As we detailed on launch last month, voters are as likely to blame the last Labour government as the coalition for both spending cuts and the government’s dismal record on real wages.