Labour all to play for in spite of everything..

It may be taste free to point it out according to some Sluggerites, but sympathy for David Cameron over the death of his son Ivan has helped inch him ahead in the latest You Gov poll. This is hardly surprising, as people react to politicians in the round and identify with human tragedy easier than they follow the twists and turns of financial crisis. Yet the overall Tory lead is soft.

59% of voters saying Cameron) is doing a good job as Tory leader and 30% criticising him.
The Conservatives’ lead over Labour shrinking slightly over the past month from 12 points to 10. If a general election were called tomorrow, the Tories would receive 41% of the vote, Labour 31% and the Lib Dems 17%, up three points on last month. This would put Cameron into Downing Street with a small majority in the Commons….However, 60% still believe Brown is doing a poor job as prime minister, with only 35% backing him.

Meanwhile in spite of Alex Salmond’s popularity, in Scotland Labour inches ahead of the SNP for the first time in two years. The overall message: a leader’s popularity may not determine the result.

The poll of 1,380 adults last week put the SNP on 35% in the constituency vote, with Labour on 34%, but on the regional vote Labour is on 32% and the SNP 30%. It would give Labour 49 seats (+3), the SNP 44 (-3), the Tories 18 (+1), Lib Dems 15 (-1) and Greens three (+1).
When YouGov last polled at the end of January, the SNP had a six point lead in both votes. Labour remains on 37% and the SNP on 27% for Westminster. Labour is on course to secure the largest vote (36%) in June’s European elections, with the SNP on 29%, Tories on 18%, Lib Dems on 11% and others on 6%.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London