Gordon Brown has been boosted by a poll suggesting the Tories’ lead has been slashed.
An Ipsos MORI survey for The Observer put David Cameron’s party on 37% – just six points ahead of Labour.
The gap is the narrowest between the two for nearly a year, and with the Lib Dems on 17% would result in a hung parliament if repeated at the general election.
The research also indicated growing optimism among the public. Some 43% now believe the economy will perform better over the next year, compared to 23% who say it will deteriorate and 28% who say it will stay the same.
Despite the improvement in Labour’s position, the Prime Minister’s personal ratings remain poor.
Just 34% of people are satisfied with his performance, while 59% are dissatisfied. The equivalent figures for Mr Cameron are 48% and 35%.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,006 adults by telephone between November 13 and 15. Data was weighted to match the UK population.
Although it has been an odd week this is a very odd poll result. Two things have contributed to this.
The first is that although Brown is someone who is rarely the subject of public sympathy the last few days have seen genuine revulsion at his treatment at the hands of The Sun.
As the poll indicates people maintain a negative view of him but I believe they are beginning to dissociate his slightly odd demeanour from the actual business of governing.
Secondly I think this is evidence that the Tories have still not decontaminated their brand. They remain the nasty party.
My evidence for this is purely anecdotal but people still don’t really “like” the Tories. Instead they are just beginning to think they are lesser of two incompetencies.
How far this poll represents a trend on which Labour can build, or an aberration in an otherwise inexorable decline, remains to be seen.
As the title indicates my view is that this is a rogue result. However, it is one which illustrates that despite everything else the Tories still do not have this in the bag. As someone hoping for a hung Parliament it is an interesting piece of news indeed.