Cameron's speech, or the media coverage that lauded it, may have shifted the polls. Photo: Getty.
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Did Labour's poll lead just vanish in a week?

Four of the six most recent polls have handed the Tories a lead, and an average of all suggests we are tied.

This post was originally published on our new elections site

On Friday YouGov put the Tories ahead in their polls for the first time in two-and-a-half-years. The result seemed like it could be an aberration, as a temporary Tory lead in May earlier this year quickly proved to be.

But two other YouGov polls have now put the party in front, along with Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll published yesterday. Are the Tories now ahead, after years of trailing Labour?

Populus, the only other pollster to poll as regularly, suggests not. Their two polls over the past week have handed Labour a 5 and 6 point lead – in line with the polls throughout September, which consistently gave Labour a lead of 3 to 4 points.

This chart shows all the polls published in the past fortnight by the UK’s major active polling companies. It shows how discordant the recent results are from the story we have become used to telling: Labour seem to be struggling but have consistently led.

That story may have finally changed. David Cameron does seem to have won a conference bounce. We will be tracking all the latest numbers to see if it lasts. 

May2015 is the New Statesman's new elections site. Explore it for data, interviews and ideas on the general election.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.