The Conservative lead in the latest ICM/ Guardian poll is 6% (down slightly from 8% last month). Mike Smithson, over at PoliticalBetting, suggests that Ming’s pursuit of the BAe/ Saudi affair and a couple of assured Commons performances might have contributed to the 5% increase in LibDem support. I find the jump harder to explain. It may just be that last month’s survey by Mike’s favourite pollster understated LibDem support a little and this one overstates it.
The table on the right summarises how voters assess the parties’ strength on the issues. At the last General Election in 2005 the Tories only had a lead on asylum and immigration and were tied with Labour on law and order. The Tories now lead Labour on six of nine issues. Labour’s largest lead is on the fight against terrorism (6%). Their advantage on the electorally crucial issue of the economy has shrunk from 20% in 2005 to just 5% now.