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.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.