If we needed a reminder not to get overly excited about small variations in the opinion polls, it comes today with two surveys from the same pollster taken at pretty much the same time which return slightly different results. The YouGov survey for today’s Telegraph has the Tories on 38, down two, Labour on 31, up 1, and the Lib Dems on 19, up two. While the one for the People has the Tories on 40, Labour on 31 and the Lib Dems on 18. There are also two other polls that came out on Friday. Ipsos-Mori which had the Tories on 40, Labour up six to 32 and the Lib Dems on 16. An Angus-Reid poll, the only one to show the Tories on course for an overall majority, had the Tories on 40, Labour on 24 and the Lib Dems on 19.
Bearing in mind the caveat above, the fact so many polls show the election in hung parliament territory should be causing some concern in Tory circles. The Tory marginal seat operation is expected to deliver, meaning that the Tories should do better than the polls suggest. But governing with a narrow majority will not be easy for Cameron given the need for cuts and the party management problems he will face.
Next week the Tories bring out the economic section of their draft manifesto. They would be well advised to use it as an opportunity to get back on the offensive. In recent weeks, they have been too like a football team nervously defending a one nil lead.