‘The Tories are now in a strong position on most public services, which have traditionally been vote-winners for Labour. On doing the best job of improving the NHS, the Tories are on 37 per cent (up 10 points since last March) against 34 per cent for Labour (down 1 point).
The Tories are in the lead on: managing the economy (42 per cent against 33 per cent for Labour); improving standards in schools (39 against 33 per cent); getting the balance right between taxes and spending (38 to 30 per cent); dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour (45 against 27 per cent); immigration and asylum (44 to 24 per cent); and reforming Britain’s political system (37 to 24 per cent). The sole exceptions are reforming welfare (where Labour is ahead by 32 to 30 per cent) and climate change where, as before, the Lib Dems are ahead on 31 per cent, against 25 per cent for Labour.'
Labour’s ‘Two-faced Tories’ and ‘Cameron the lightweight’ strategies have palpably failed; the party is no longer the master of its fate. The Tories have won the battle for the 'progressive' middle ground, and the election, whenever it comes, is David Cameron’s to lose. But one statistic that should galvinise him is that 57 per cent of respondents think Cameron merely parrots what he imagines people want to hear, evidently with some success. There is an argument that Cameron wants to save detailing policy for the election. That's a sensible plan, not the best one. The government is irredeemably discredited and listless; why not deepen its paralysis by showing what living under an enlivened and coherent government would be like?