Although the headline deficit is better than other recent surveys, the underlying numbers remain worrying for the Conservatives. When it comes to handling a crisis Brown has a 60% to 13% advantage over David Cameron. By 37% to 32% the Prime Minister even has an advantage on this issue among Tory voters. Labour also scores much better on party unity. 54% told Ipsos-MORI that Brown leads the most united team. Only 12% say the same of the Conservatives. All polls show that on fitness to be Prime Minister, economic competence and party unity – the three points of the iron triangle of political success – Labour enjoy big leads.
A BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday also gives Labour a 7% lead. BPIX, which is not in ConservativeHome’s poll of polls because of its infrequency, finds Labour on 41%, the Conservatives on 34 and the LibDems languishing at just 12%.
Coming before the Tory Conference and before the weekend’s tax relief announcements – for two parent families and for first-time homebuyers – there must be hope that the opinion polls will be better by next weekend.