Monday, 20 October 2008

Tory Poll Lead Shrinks

He's smiling - for now

The latest YouGov survey for the Daily Mirror shows that Labour has narrowed the Conservative lead to eight points. This would still be more than enough for Dave Cameron to have a working majority, but it is a long time since the Conservative lead has been down to single figures. A ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday gives a similar Labour lead of 9 per cent. During the summer the Conservative lead reached 23 points, although such a lead was unsustainable.

These figures do suggest that Labour has gained some traction during the economic crisis, although that may not persist as the recession deepens. As Gordon Brown himself said recently, one hour is a long time in politics.

Brown got a big thumbs up from the elctorate for his handling of the financial turmoil, 62 per cent saying that he had done well compared to 34 per cent who said he had done badly. Some 40 per cent backed him and Alastair Darling to handle the economy as against 28 per cent who preferred David Cameron and George Osborne.

These latest figures do present Dave Cameron with some tactical challenges. If he overdoes the attacks on the Government, it will look as if he is carping. Personally, I dislike the 'broken economy' phrase as much as the 'broken society'. An American politician would never describe his country in those terms. But perhaps the fact that British politicians can is a good thing.

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