The news just keeps getting worse for the Conservatives, with a consolidation of their reduced poll lead, and some polls putting David Cameron just seven points ahead.
By politics.co.uk staff
The Conservative polling performance remains fairly firm, but Labour does seem to be making some slow headway. Analysts cite the return to economic growth, even at just 0.1%, and some Tory dithering over their economic policies.
An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph gave the Tories a ten-point lead, with the opposition on 40% to Labour's 30%. The form's funding stayed consistent a few weeks later when a poll it conducted for the Guardian put the Tories 11 points ahead, on 40% to Labour's 29%. But by the time it did another poll for the Sunday Telegraph on February 4th the Tory lead had slipped to nine points.
A similar trend was evident in Populus polls, which gave Cameron a 13-point lead over Gordon Brown on January 10th, only for it to slip to ten points early in February. Both polls were for the Times.
A ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday gave the Tories a substantial 13-point lead on January 14th, but by the time it conducted a poll for the Sunday Mirror on the 21st that lead had slipped to nine points, with the Tories on 38% and Labour on 29%. Another poll for the independent on January 31st put just seven points between the Tories and Labour with the opposition on 38% and the governing party on 31%.
YouGov is the only other pollster giving the Tories such a slim lead, however. A January 15th poll for the Sunday Times gave the Tories a nine-point advantage. That had slipped to seven points by the time it conducted a poll for the Telegraph on January 29th.
Angus Reid polls for PoliticalBetting give the Tories a far wider margin. On January 27th the lead stood at 16 points, with the Tories on 40 per cent and Labour on 24%. The poor Labour showing on Angus polls relates to their methodology.
Throughout the month, Labour support has climbed slowly upwards. At one point some commentators even began to resurrect talk of an early election. That remains unlikely. The Labour recovery is vulnerable and the Tories maintain a substantial lead. But if the election were to take place today, it appears Cameron would only earn himself a small majority, or perhaps even be landed with a hung parliament.