There’s an intriguing detail in the latest YouGov poll. The number of people seeing Labour as old and tired is back up to 44 percent, which is where it was before Ed Miliband became leader.
The concern for Labour must be that the youthful, vigorous optimism that Ed Miliband is trying to promote hasn’t cut through to the public yet. Admittedly it is early days. But first impressions do matter in politics. Indeed, I must admit to being slightly surprised that the Tories are still generally ahead in the polls. I thought that the spending review would push Labour into the lead.
Something that, contrary to the media perception, might be helping the Tories is the ongoing rows over housing benefit and child benefit. The polls show that the Tories are on the right side of public opinion on both of these issues. While every time the electorate is reminded that the Tories have taken child benefit away from families with a higher-rate taxpayer in them, the more difficult it is for the left to persuade the public that the Tories have some kind of anti-poor agenda.