The Conservatives get a battering in tomorrow’s papers. Jeremy
Hunt graces the front pages of the Observer and the "http://www.politicshome.com/uk/article/52363/the_independent_on_sunday_sunday_29th_april_2012.html">Indy. The Sunday Express has an "https://twitter.com/#!/TimMontgomerie/statuses/196304534497280000">Angus Reid poll that finds 82 per cent of ordinary voters think the coalition is out of touch. The Mail on Sunday has given
space for Ed Miliband to attack David Cameron. And Boris has told the
Sunday Telegraph that now is the time for more tax cuts (he also refers to George Osborne
as ‘the jaws of death’). Needless to say, Boris is bucking the national trend – still the favourite to win London, although it’s bound to be close.
The paper also covers Lord
Ashcroft’s examination of the relationship between the Tories and ethnic minorities; the findings should disturb Tory strategists: many BMEs simply can’t imagine anyone of their
background being a Tory, and negligible numbers of black and Asian voters identify with the Tories.
Worse news comes in the Sunday Times, which carries a YouGov poll that puts the Tories on a
pathetic 29 per cent, their ‘lowest ebb for 8 years’. Now, this is the midterm wobble, and this is just one poll (the poll in today’s Independent was more
favourable, putting the blue rosettes on 34 per cent). But, momentum is important. This poll is the culmination of weeks of, as an eloquent man once put it, one bloody thing after another.
But the good news for David Cameron is that Labour is not dominant, not wholly at any rate. The YouGov poll gives the party an 11 point lead, but all the usual caveats remain. 11 points is not
exceptional at this stage of the electoral cycle. The poll also shows that the Tories still lead Labour on the economy, by 36 per cent to 28 per cent. This is a sign that Labour is listless, bereft
of a credible alternative vision to that which has gone before. Above all, the leadership question persists. Ed Miliband is still being mistaken
for his older brother. David Cameron et al will take comfort in the fact that it is very difficult to remove a man who is 10 points clear in the polls, regardless of how underwhelming
he is. But, I suspect, anything other than a drubbing in next week’s local elections will be praised as a miracle at CCHQ.