A YouGov/ Telegraph opinion poll gives the Tories a (stable) 5% lead tomorrow. Graphics will follow in the morning.
Perhaps more significant is the fact that the Tories have a 30% to 27% lead over Labour on economic competence. That 3% advantage compares very favourably with a 22% disadvantage (49% over 27%) at the last General Election. The Tories are not perceived as decidedly more competent but Labour (Gordon Brown) is seen as decidely less competent. Perhaps that record tax burden, rising inflation and falling disposable incomes are beginning to bite!
Bob Worcester believes in an iron triangle of political success. That triangle includes leader image, party unity and economic competence. David Cameron still has a lot to do but he can be forgiven a broader smile tonight.
8.30am update on 23rd February:
Within the new YouGov survey there is strong support for David Cameron’s analysis of the recent south London killings:
"Well over half of YouGov’s sample, 57 per cent, agree with Mr Cameron that "the shootings reflect a wide malaise" and that "our society is broken, with a marked decline in the culture of responsibility, especially among children without fathers". Only 33 per cent agree with Mr Blair that the shootings reflect only "a specific problem with a specific criminal culture to do with guns and gangs"."
Appearing to confirm Tuesday’s Guardian/ ICM survey, the Tory lead widens to 9% in a Brown versus Cameron stand-off.