(1) "After his Bromley bruising overnight there’s some encouragement for David Cameron in the poll. To the “Who would make the best Prime Minister” question he polled 30% to Blair’s 28%. According to the Telegraph Cameron is the first of five successive Tory leaders to achieve a higher rating than Labour on this point. Ming Campbell’s figure of 6% compares with the 18% that Charles Kennedy was recording at the General Election." (PoliticalBetting.com)
(2) "The poll also showed the two parties neck and neck on economic competence, both on 31%. This is mostly due to a sharp fall in the percentage of people who have faith in Labour’s ability to run the economy (down 18 points since the election), rather than any great increase for the Conservatives (up 4 since the election)." (UK Polling Report).
This is real progress on two of the three corners of the so-called iron triangle (one of ConservativeHome’s six benchmark tests of David Cameron’s progress). It is certainly true that we need to do better at by-elections (and Iain Dale has written an insightful post about this on his blog) but an opinion poll from a reputable pollster is a much better guide to the General Election result.
The other interesting finding from the YouGov poll is the declining size of those thinking of voting for minor parties. The share going to ‘other parties’ has fallen from 15% to 10% since before May’s local elections.