But some good news for Howard and Kennedy
After Friday’s YouGov poll with a Labour lead of just one point a very different picture of the current political climate is shown in the January survey by Communicate Research for tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday.
The figures are: LAB 40 (+1): CON 32 (-2) LD 20 (+1) and mean that the pollster’s Labour total is 2% higher than any other firm.
But all is not plain sailing for Tony Blair because the poll featured two elements that could undermine Labour’s current strong position.
For the Lib Dems the poll showed that 37% would vote Lib Dem if they thought the party had a realistic chance in their constituency.
For the Tories the poll shows that 71% said the Government did not have the problem of illegal immigration under control and 41% said that the issue might change the way they vote in the election, expected on May 5. Nearly a third of Labour supporters said they might switch on the issue.
All this chimes with the second YouGov poll if the week in the DailyTelegraph. When asked if Michael Howard was right to rise the issue, 71% thought he was, 18% thought him wrong. Only 12% of people thought it was racist of Michael Howard to raise the issue – 79% thought it wasnâ€™t.
The 8% Labour margin will certainly stall the Tory recovery on the spread-betting markets but the other messages from the CR survey will dillute its overall impact.
The media, meanwhile is taking election betting much more seriously. The Telegraph financial pages will feature General Election odds and spread-betting prices every day between now and polling day.