David Blackburn

It’s the economy, isn’t it?

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The Tories' 17 point  lead in this morning's Observer Ipsos-Mori poll has got tongues wagging. The headline figure is that confidence in the economy, and by extension the government's management of it, has collapsed since the PBR. Just 32 percent of voters believe the economy will improve in 2010, compared to 46% last month.

The politics of debt and the public finances appear to have swung decisively in favour of the Conservatives, and the leadership must press that advantage all the way to the ballot box. But the economy represents only part of the explanation. Anthony Wells' digest of the poll is a must read, and he notes that the 'lack of political weighting' has 'produced such extreme switches in support'. In other word's, don't take voting intention as gospel; judging by Eric Pickles' 'it's not in the bag' message on Andrew Marr this morning, the Tories certainly aren't.