Tories expect lead to drop to single figures

Tory party strategists are expecting their poll lead to drop to single figures in the face of a successful week for Gordon Brown.

Private briefings within the party stress that central office is braced for good headlines for the prime minister, following his decisive action to strengthen the UK economy.

The decision of many world leaders to follow his lead is also expected to consolidate his bounce in the polls.

The party will concentrate on a ‘Brown rescued the banks but not the real economy’ message, with David Cameron hanging tight until the ramifications on people’s day-to-day lives are felt. He will then launch an ’empathy offensive’, playing on his political strengths and Mr Brown’s weakness.

Focussing relentlessly on ‘real economic issues’, the party hope to rebuild their double digit lead.

But every indication is that Mr Cameron remains calm despite the sea-change in British politics going on beneath his feet. Strategists point to his composure during Mr Brown’s 2007 honeymoon as evidence he is perfectly capable of playing the long game.

The party have also noted the slip in Lib Dem support over the course of the crisis, with neither the party’s prescience in spotting problems with the housing market nor Vince Cable’s frenetic media activity shoring up their support.