The events of recent weeks have turned an 11% Labour lead into an 11% Conservative lead.  In his column today Stephan Shakespeare offers a theory as to which voters are powering this volatility.  He puts it down to those voters who tell pollsters that they are going to vote but aren’t really settled in their mind.  In what might be likened to the ‘US Convention effect’, Stephan postulates that these voters may be disproportionately affected by media froth but that the effect of this froth is not necessarily enduring.

What, in my opinion, Labour deserves to end Labour’s period in office is not their failure to manage their own funding – serious as that is – but what they have done to Britain.

Two new reports this morning point to Labour’s failure to help the poor.  The number of children living in poverty rose by 100,000 last year. 

Tax changes in Brown’s last Budget – that are just about to bite – took money out of the pockets of the poor.

We also learn today that the UK cancer survival rate is no better than Slovenia.

Over the last five years Britain has fallen from third to 19th in the international league table of children’s literacy skills.

Yesterday we learnt again about the scale of overstretch in our armed forces.

Dan Hannan made his own must-read list of Labour’s starkest failures here.

There has been a history of the British people turning to the Conservatives when the nation is in trouble.  That is likely to be the situation in May 2010 – the likeliest date for this embattled Government to wait for an election.  The challenge over the next two-and-a-half years is to ensure we have the policy tools to meet the challenges that will exist by then.

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