Voter confidence in the Darling-Brown economic team has been knocked downwards in the first test of public opinion since this Wednesday's PBR.
A ComRes poll for the Daily Politics programme found that Cameron and Osborne now enjoy a 7% lead over Labour in answer to the question, "Who do you most trust to steer Britain's economy through the current downturn?". They were 3% behind in April.
An Angus-Reid survey for PoliticalBetting.com of headline voting intentions – published yesterday – gave the Conservatives a 17% lead but it was largely conducted before Mr Darling had delivered his statement.
CCHQ is delighted at the terrible response to the PBR. Yesterday's dire newspaper coverage has been followed up by today's Economist which has made a strong attack on Gordon Brown's attempts at class war.
A wider opinion poll lead for the Conservatives will settle Team Cameron's nerves but they are still focusing on the possibility of a March election. Team Brown fear that the first quarter of 2010 may see Britain dip back into recession after the UK is expected to emerge from recession in 2009 Q4. The theory is that Christmas-related activity will produce an artificial boost this quarter but post-Christmas retrenchment and the imposition of new Labour taxes (including the VAT increase) will cause a depressed January and February. If Labour wait until May their election campaign might begin with the news that Britain is BACK in recession.