March’s Populus poll for The Times puts both main parties at 35%. The LibDems are up two points to 20%. This is in line with other polls which suggest that Britain’s third party has recovered its balance and is back in political business.
Peter Riddell writes about "the silly talk" that "the Cameron effect [is] stalling":
"The monthly shifts mean little. The key point is that the Tory vote share is now 5.7 points higher on average than over the previous six months, more than his predecessors achieved. The main improvement has been among professionals and managers, where support has risen from 34 to 42 per cent."
Contrary to other polls which suggest that Gordon Brown would boost Labour, Populus find that Cameron would do better against Mr Brown:
"When half the sample were asked how they would vote at the next election, 40 per cent said the Tories under Mr Cameron, 34 per cent Labour under Mr Brown and 20 per cent the Lib Dems under Sir Menzies, with others at 6 per cent."
The poll also suggests that David Cameron is wise to let newspapers do the running on Jowell-gate. Populus found that just "15 per cent think the Labour Government is more guilty of sleaze than the previous Tory one, with 11 per cent thinking it less sleazy." Two-thirds think both parties are as sleazy as each other.