That’s the headline in this morning’s Times above a Populus opinion poll that puts the Conservatives in a 38% to 30% lead over Labour.  The LibDems are down 1% on 18%.

The Tory lead in the ConservativeHome poll of polls is now a record 8.25% with all polls pointing to a similar Conservative advantage.  With a uniform swing, Electoral Calculus give the Tories a 38 majority on these poll of polls numbers.  John Hutton and Ruth Kelly would be amongst the Labour casualties.

When the ‘if Gordon Brown was leader’ question is asked the Tory lead grows to 42% to 29%.  More reassuring for the Chancellor is that the Tory lead widens still further – 48% to 28% – if David Miliband was leader.  That these questions need to be taken with a large dose of salt is confirmed by the fact that, last month, Populus found that the Tory advantage over a Brown-led Labour party would be just 1%.  We are not going to know the impact of a Brown leadership until…

  1. We have been through the Labour leadership contest in which there could be a negative impact on Labour’s standing because of infighting and ‘Blairite revenge’ or a positive impact because of Labour winning lots of publicity (the Tories benefited from this ‘oxygen of publicity factor’ during the 2005 leadership race);
  2. We have seen Brown installed as Prime Minister – he has made his first speech on the steps of Downing Street promising an array of changes, has reshuffled the Cabinet and announced new initiatives;
  3. We have waited three months for everything to settle down and we have seen how the Tories and LibDems choose to attack him.
  4. We know the outcome of the cash-for-honours investigation.  If prosecutions take place there may be more erosion of Labour’s standing to come.

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