The Tories are losing the election and the plot; Labour could yet win the election!

With the publication of every opinion poll, the chances of a Conservative victory in May become more remote.  Tonight’s ICM poll for the Guardian puts the Tories on 37% (down 3%), Labour on 30% (up 1%) and the Lib Dems on 20% (down 1%).

It appears that any immediate harm caused by Bullygate has been off-set by the Piers Morgan effect. And there is a sense that people are feeling that the alleged bully is, in fact, the bullied.

It now looks that we are heading for a hung parliament.  That’s not great for the economy, but better than having Chancellor George Osborne.

What is most fascinating about this poll are the underlying trends. The Tories have also lost ground on key policy issues, not least the economy, and also appear to be losing their campaign against Labour’s so-called death tax. Labour leads the Tories by eight points as the party with the best policy on care for the elderly.

The negative campaigning of the Tories is proving to be counter-productive. 

The possibility of Labour win in May should not be ruled out. It was always likely that, when faced with entrusting Cameron and Osborne with their financial future and that of the country, the voters would lose confidence, prefering to go with Brown and Darling.  Cameron and Osborne look lightweight by comparison.  They really don’t have it.

74 days to go: Will the campaign in Brighton Pavilion be overshadowed by the Ludicrous Left in Brighton Kemptown?

There are just 74 days to do, and the campaign in Brighton Pavilion remains as close as ever, with ‘undecided’ voters probably holding the key.  This is good news for the Conservative, Charlotte Vere, who can reasonably expect the majority of votes from those who claim to be undecided.  Whether or not they will bridge the gap between her and the Green’s Caroline Lucas, is another matter. 

Yesterday’s poll in the Argus, while giving a boost to Labour’s Nancy Platts, is generally regarded as misleading.  What won’t change is Nancy’s single-minded determination to fight for every last vote until the polls close on 6 May.  The Andrew Rawnsley ‘expose’ today will not, ultimately, hurt Gordon Brown.  Those who were not intending to vote Labour will have a further ‘justifification’ for not doing so.  Already there is evidence that people are beginning to see the alleged ‘bully’ as the one being bullied.  Attacks on Brown have been overdone and will prove counter-productive.

Ultimately, when faced with the coise between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, people will remember that (in spite of earlier dithering) Brown was the one who was decisive when it really mattered – that weekend when it looked as though the banks would crash.  All we get from George Osborne is the ludicrous proposal to sell cheap shares in the nationalised banks!

But the ‘big’ story of the week – not GB’s Piers Morgan show, not ‘Rawnsleyrot’, not Labour’s substitute for its spring conference – is the launch of  the mighty TUSC , the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is standing in Brighton Kemptown at the General Election.  Its candidate will be Dave Hill, former Labour Councillor and parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion so long ago that even I can’t remember when!  Dave is an energetic and passionate candidate, but his impact, and that of the Ludicrous Left, is likely to be nil.

Nancy Platts is still fighting in Brighton Pavilion, but the new poll giving her a 10% lead is misleading

There is some confusion about a poll commissioned by the Brighton Argus that suggests Labour is 14% ahead of the Greens and 10% ahead of the Conservatives.  This contrasts with a poll published in December that put the Greens well ahead of the Conservices with Labour further behind.  19% say they are yet to make up their mind, enough to swing the election to any of the three candidates.

This poll will no doubt give the Labour candidate, Nancy Platts, a huge boost.  She has another reason to be optimistic – the strong performance of Labour in recent weeks.  Today’s speech by Gordon Brown was powerful and convincing, and comes a few days after his performance on the Piers Morgan programme which I understand (although didn’t see it myself) was compelling viewing and showed the real GB in a very favourable light.

The Green candidate, Caroline Lucas will, no doubt, dismiss the poll, and with some justification.  The question asked “Which party would you vote for if there was a general election tomorrow” disadvantages the minor parties.  In reponding to such a question, those who are yet to understand the particular situation in Brighton Pavilion as a three way marginal, will consider just the three main parties.  As election day approaches, and as the viability of the Green campaign is better established, voting Green will become a greater reality.

Charlotte Vere, the Conservative candidate, will probably ignore the poll.  Opinion polls always underestimate the strength of the Conservatives.  There is still an embarassment factor amongst former Labour voters who might be considering a Tory vote.  She will no doubt continue to do what she excels at, being a one woman tornado in Brighton Pavilion, and she will receive a boost next weekend with the Conservative Spring Conference coming to town.

It is the view of this blog that the earlier poll is more dependable.  Caroline Lucas maintains momentum and, with a better showing from her supporters and local Green councillors, she should still poll well.  However, don’t underestimate Nancy Platts.  She has a strong local presence and is engaging.  Mycomments made previously that she is the right candidate, wrong party may yet prove to be wrong, as Labour and Gordon Brown strengthen their poll rating.  Faced with a stark choice between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, the voters may yet throw a lifeline to Nancy Platts.