Tories top polls as economy improves

Labour’s party political broadcast, entitled The Un-credible Shrinking Man and featuring Nick Clegg as a Tory stooge who is bullied by his out-of-touch Tory colleagues, proves that the Labour Party is “slowly but surely going clinically insane”, says Dan Hodges on his Daily Telegraph blog.

Instead of trying to win the next general election by convincing the nation it has some serious policies, the people who run it are “living out a self-indulgent student fantasy” in which they get to strike poses, and shout slogans and scream “Toff!” at every Tory they see.

As The Mail on Sunday points out, Ed Miliband lives in a £2.4m property and enjoys an estimated joint annual income of £350,000 with his wife.

The latest polls haven’t been kind to the Labour party, nor Ed Miliband. The latest monthly Guardian/ICM poll shows the Tories on 33%, up a single point and two points ahead of Labour, which has fallen by six points since April – its lowest ebb for four years.

A second poll, commissioned by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, also gave the Tories a two point lead at 34 to 32. Meanwhile, “flush with publicity” before the forthcoming European ballot, Nigel Farage’s Ukip climbs four points to 15%, says Tom Clark in The Guardian.

The latest “flurry of data” is worrying for Labour, says Kiran Stacey on FT.com. The four polls published in recent days all suggest that the “race for next year’s general election is now neck and neck”.

One emerging trend is that the Tories are doing slightly better as the economy improves. If Labour loses votes to the Tories, that is “very bad news” since the economy is on an upward trajectory.

Votes lost to Ukip in the middle of a European campaign and unusual press attention are less of an issue as Labour “can and should recover a fair chunk of that vote”.

Perhaps the worst news are the leadership figures in ICM’s polling, which puts Miliband on a dismal -25 (51% think he is doing a bad job compared to 26% who think the reverse), trailing Clegg, Farage and Cameron.

Miliband brushed the poll findings aside and insists that he is ‘more personally competent’ than Cameron to lead Britain. But if The Mail on Sunday’s political insults poll is anything to go by, Miliband should have heeded the “adage about people in glass houses and stones”, says Simon Walters.

Asked to judge the four main leaders on “ten less than flattering character traits”, Miliband comes top in three: “thick”, “wet” and “sexless”. Cameron was top for “cruel”, “remote”, “phoney”, “sanctimonious” and “bully”.

Tory MP friends of the PM said he could “draw some comfort from the findings: ‘Given the choice of being seen as a hard b****** or a wet rag, most leaders would choose the former.’”

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