The Spectator

More bad news for Dave

More bad news for Dave
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oday's Guardian ICM poll continues the run of bad figures for Dave. Now, all of this can be (and is being) dismissed by Tory optimists as part and parcel of the predictable "Brown bounce": Gordon has not yet been PM for a month, after all. And I agree that Cameron would be daft to mould his strategy around the voting intention statistics drawn up by pollsters in the first few weeks of a premiership. The finding that should worry Dave is that a majority of Labour and Tory voters think that Brown has brought a change to government. This suggests that the public has bought Gordon's mantra that he has "listened and learned" and is the "change" candidate. This, in turn, means that it will be hard for the Tories to base their counter-attack on Brown's record as Chancellor: what's past is past - or so this poll suggests. It won't do to say "where was Brown when this decision was taken in 1998?" or "isn't this mess the result of measures you took in such-and-such a Budget?" The bitter reality for Dave seems to be that Brown is starting with - believe it or not - something like a clean sheet.