Labour ahead in marginals, poll shows

Could voters be backing their own interests over those of business bosses?

Despite my warning about paying too much attention to the polls at this early stage in the campaign, today's News of the World-ICM survey makes for fascinating reading. The Murdoch-owned tabloid, which like its sister paper the Sun is backing the Tories, has "spun" the results in its main story, under a headline that voters want "change".

The write-up does acknowledge, however, that the findings forecast a six per cent swing to the Conservatives -- not enough for Cameron to become prime minister.

But it is the marginal polling that is most interesting. You can download the full data here. Extraordinarily, it reveals that Labour is a point ahead, with the Cons on 36 and Labour on 37. This, despite the lasting row over a national insurance which the Tories have successfully dubbed a "jobs tax" in the media.

Could it be possible that even Middle England will choose their own interests above those vested ones of a series of ultra-wealthy businessmen and the actor Michael Caine, a man who -- unlike most of us -- determines where he lives on the basis of how much tax he can avoid?



James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.