By Ray Fleming

WHY is David Cameron not making more headway in the opinion polls on Britain's impending general election? Two polls yesterday -- YouGov for the Daily Telegraph and IpsosMori for the Daily Mirror -- showed the gap between Conservatives and Labour narrowing to two or three points below the 10 point separation that Mr Cameron needs to be assured of an overall majority.The Daily Mirror/ poll showed a remarkable six point jump in support for Labour and in both the Conservatives took a two-three point cut.

The reason for these surprising results cannot be any single achievement by Labour although Mr Brown's readiness to pitch in to negotiations on Northern Ireland and Afghanistan will not have done him any harm. But the hard questions have to be answered by Mr Cameron. There are still many in his party who do not like his centre-right policies although his overall approval ratings are quite satisfactory. Perhaps there is a reaction among floating voters against what often appears to be opportunist criticism of Labour actions that would probably benefit from more careful thought before being aired. A more likely reason may be the apparent weakness of Mr Cameron's shadow cabinet; with the exception of William Hague and Kenneth Clarke they are mostly untried for the daunting task ahead of them.