James Forsyth

Declaration day minus one

Declaration day minus one
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YouGov’s first poll of the year had the Tories on 40 and nine points ahead of Labour. Its latest one has the Tories on 39 and Labour on 29. So despite the two Tory wobbles, in terms of the battle between the big two, little has changed over the past 90 odd days.

The Tories, though, are the party with the momentum after the success of their move on National Insurance. They are also benefitting from some mistakes by their opponents. First, Peter Mandelson doing just what George Osborne wanted him to do and going after the business leaders who had signed the letter in support of the Tory position. This gave the NI story legs and meant that it stayed at the top of the news agenda for far longer than it otherwise would have. Second, Chris Grayling’s remarks on whether B&Bs should be able to turn away gays would have caused the Tories much more trouble if they had come out next Sunday rather than on Easter Sunday when politics was not going at full speed.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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