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 A/V REPORTS
Professor John Curtice, polls expert
"The polls tend to overestimate Labour's support"
 real 28k

Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 19:23 GMT 20:23 UK
Mixed picture from Sunday polls
Graph showing the opinion poll movements during the campaign so far
David Cowling

A trio of polls give the following portrait of public opinion on the threshold of polling day:

ICM/Observer has Labour on 46% (down 2% on their previous poll three weeks ago), the Conservatives with 34% (up 2%) and the Lib Dems on 15% (unchanged).

NOP/Sunday Times gives Labour 47% (down 2% since last week), the Conservatives 30% (unchanged) and the Lib Dems 16% (up 2%).

MORI/Sunday Telegraph puts Labour on 50% (down 1% on their previous poll three weeks ago), the Conservatives on 27% (down 4%) and the Lib Dems 17% (up 4%).

ICM/Observer

The ICM/Observer survey registers the best Conservative share (34%) in the campaign so far.

However, it then concentrates on tactical voting which will be less welcome news to Mr Hague.


Four years ago the Observer published about a dozen individual constituency surveys at precisely this point in the campaign and much anti-Conservative tactical voting is said to have resulted in those seats.

This time they limit themselves to a single national poll but it shows that two-thirds of Labour voters say they would support Lib Dem candidates in seats where they are best placed to defeat the Conservatives.

Also, 45% of respondents (including one-in-five Conservatives) want the Lib Dems to replace the Conservatives as the official Opposition.

ICM found 65% saying they are certain to vote on 7 June.

NOP/Sunday Times

NOP/Sunday Times found that voters would prefer, by 43% to 38%, a Labour government and membership of the European single currency than a Conservative government that kept Britain outside the euro.

A third of respondents support Mr Hague's contention that Labour would 'rig' any referendum on the euro to secure a 'yes' vote.


Voters are divided on the question of Mr Hague's future if the Conservatives lose on 7 June: 46% say he should step down, compared with 42% who say he should stay (including only 55% of Conservative supporters).

NOP found that people have not been greatly impressed by politicians during this campaign: 75% said that they never answer questions and 77% say they always use statistics to pull the wool over people's eyes.

MORI/Sunday Telegraph

The MORI/Sunday Telegraph found that 52% of Conservative supporters want William Hague to remain as party leader even if he loses.


If he were to resign, MORI found Michael Portillo the favourite candidate among Conservative supporters.

He was backed by 22%, compared with 13% who supported Ann Widdecombe and 11% supported Kenneth Clarke.

MORI found that four in ten thought Labour had fought the best campaign, whilst only 11% said the same of the Conservatives.

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