IcmfornotwThe ICM/ News of the World headline numbers are the good news for the Tory leader as Fleet Street accelerates its efforts to mark David Cameron’s first year in charge.  A 9% lead puts the Tories within spitting distance of a parliamentary majority.  The more discouraging news is in ICM’s findings that Gordon Brown is the most popular choice for being Prime Minister.  An ICM spokesman told the News of the World that:

"This poll shows David is a likeable personality. But people want a PM to be statesmanlike and deal with big issues.  It seems Gordon Brown is perceived as more of a leader of this quality."

This finding contrasts with other very recent findings, however, and should be taken with a healthy pinch of salt for all of the reasons discussed here.

Francis Maude welcomes the survey results, saying: "We have laid the foundations, now we have to build the house."  But what house, Mr Maude?  The ICM survey finds that voters worry that the Tories have the wrong priorities (confirming Friday’s YouGov conclusion).   65% want David Cameron to focus on illegal immigration, 48% on income tax, 48% on poverty but only 27% on green taxes.  The reaction editorial from Britain’s best-selling newspaper: "[David Cameron] can stick to his guns and risk losing the election.  Or start listening to voters.  It really is make up your mind time."

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