Labour cuts Tory lead to 9 points

Back in hung parliament territory

The latest Guardian/ICM poll has just been published and shows the Conservatives' lead cut to 9 points, a result that on a uniform swing would leave David Cameron six seats short of a Commons majority. The Tories are down 2 points to 40 per cent, with Labour up 2 points to 31 per cent.

I expected Labour's poll ratings to be hit by the widely derided pre-Budget report, but aside from the ComRes poll at the weekend that gave the Tories a 17-point lead, they seem to have held up. Perhaps the popular bonus supertax has made all the difference.

The fact the polls are still pointing towards a hung parliament will intensify the debate over a 25 March election in Labour circles. As I've argued elsewhere today, Brown should prepare to call an early election.

 

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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