A poll for The Observer by Ipsos-MORI shows Labour 7% ahead.  A week ago the same pollster gave Labour an 8% advantage.

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.

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