Tory jitters as poll lead falls to 3

Latest YouGov poll suggests Labour could remain the largest party.

New Statesman - Polls Guide_1268388432834

Latest poll (Sun/YouGov): Labour 19 seats short of a majority.

The latest daily YouGov poll is out and it won't make happy reading for David Cameron. The survey shows the Conservatives' lead over Labour falling to just 3 points, a result that would leave Gordon Brown 19 seats short of a majority in a hung parliament.

The Tories' advantage over Labour does seem to have narrowed significantly in the past week. As UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells points out, the Conservative lead has been below 6 points in every YouGov poll this week.

How to explain this latest dip? I doubt that the Ashcroft affair did significant damage to the Tories. What seems more likely is that the widespread media coverage of the Tory wobble has encouraged increasing numbers of voters to follow Gordon Brown's advice to "take a second look at us and a long, hard look at them".

ConservativeHome's Tim Montgomerie (interviewed by Sophie here) reports that Steve Hilton, Cameron's strategy director, and Andy Coulson, his media Rottweiler, are now sharing an office in an effort to repair the Conservatives' dysfunctional campaign. The Tories will have to hope these changes work. At the moment they show every sign of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

New Statesman poll of polls

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Conservatives 33 seats short of a majority.

Meanwhile, the latest Angus Reid survey for PoliticalBetting tells a completely different story. It puts the Conservatives up 1 point to 39 per cent, with Labour 13 points behind on 26 per cent. If repeated at a general election on a uniform swing, the figures would bring Cameron to Downing Street with a majority of 50. Mike Smithson, our new polls columnist, looks at some of the possible reasons for this disparity here.

The anomalous Angus Reid survey means that the Tories' lead over Labour in the New Statesman poll of polls rises to 6.6 per cent, a result that would leave Cameron 33 seats short of an overall majority.

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Piers Morgan struggles with the idea that anyone might ever refuse an opportunity to go on television

The Good Morning Britain host has contradictory beef with Ewan McGregor.

Has it been a while since you heard what Piers Morgan thinks? Are you shaking from withdrawal, refreshing your Twitter feed, unsure whether Kanye is or isn’t a narcissist? Well, fear not, the Mole has a fresh fix for you. After Ewan McGregor dropped out of appearing on Good Morning Britain today, a new take was born. Actors’ opinions are stupid, but also, actors should come on Piers Morgan's show and talk about their not-important views.

McGregor, who was meant to be promoting Trainspotting T2 on the show, tweeted this morning he had cancelled because of Piers’ (obviously half-baked) opinions on the Women’s March. “Was going on Good Morning Britain, didn't realise @piersmorgan was host,” McGregor wrote. “Won't go on with him after his comments about #WomensMarch.”

What truthbomb had Piers dropped to provoke this? That it was unfair women were protesting and where was the MEN'S march. A march for men! As if running our parliament, corporate system, legal industry and creative sector isn’t enough! They should probably all do a walk too! Poor men. No wonder the patriarchy is on its last legs. They must be so weary.

Still, hats off to Piers Morgan. It takes a real personal flexibility to maintain the title of Contrarian Extraordinaire of the Our Glorious Nation. By which we mean that Piers Morgan will think literally anything, if the money is right. Whether it’s writing that Kim Kardashian is so awful she caused someone to have a stroke, or that he loves her for being herself, the man is so darn unpredictable. 

Morgan accused McGregor of being "just an actor", and that he should be “big enough to allow people different political opinions”. Once again, he asked the age-old question: are you an enemy of free speech if you won't go on someone’s early morning television show? This might be alien to Piers, but people don't have to go on television if they don't want to. 

And what if Ewan had appeared on the show chatting about his film? “Happy to appear on my show for your film, but not happy with my opinions? Classic money-driven actor,” the inevitable Morgan tweet would have read. It's quite easy, this Piers Morgan lark. No, it isn't. Yes it is. Cheque please! 

I'm a mole, innit.