Just as Ed Miliband seemed to get a poll bounce from his conference speech last week, so David Cameron seems to have got one from his on Wednesday. On YouGov’s question of who would make the best Prime Minister, Cameron has extended his lead to 14 points. That more than reverses the bump Miliband got on that question from his conference (he had closed the gap from 12 points before the conferences to just four last week). In fact, it’s the best result for Cameron on that crucial question since the Budget in March.
On voting intention, the Tories’ conference does seem to have helped them close the gap to Labour a little. YouGov’s latest poll has Labour’s lead at seven points (42-35), down from 14 points (45-31) last week. But it’s not clear how much — if any — of the Tories’ gain is down to Cameron’s speech itself. Labour’s lead was already down to seven points in the poll YouGov conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday — mostly before Cameron took to the stage in Birmingham.
Overall, conference season looks like it might be a wash. Going into Lib Dem conference, YouGov had Labour 43, Conservatives 34 and Lib Dems 8. Coming out of the Tories’, it’s Labour 42, Conservatives 35 and Lib Dems 8. So Labour are down one, and the Tories are up one — but those changes are well within the margin of error.
A seven point deficit (for two days running) actually counts as relatively good news for the Conservatives these days — since the Budget in March, YouGov have had them running 10 points behind Labour on average. Still, it would be more than enough to put Ed Miliband in Downing Street if repeated in the general election.