by Ray Fleming
IF there were an election in Britain tomorrow it would result in a dead heat between the Conservatives and the Labour Party! In the latest ICM/Guardian poll the two parties each attracted 37 per cent while Liberal Democrats remained anchored on 18 per cent. This is the first time that Labour has been on level terms with the Conservatives since 2007 and it shows Labour gaining three points in the last month while the two coalition parties each lost one point. It is hard to make any sense of these figures which suggest that the polling organisations may need to rethink their questioning of the electorate to get results that more accurately reflect the state of British politics today rather than of four months ago. However, one question did throw some light on views of the coalition: offered a choice between a description of the coalition as “a Conservative dominated government propped up by the Liberal Democrats” and as “two political parties working together in partnership for the national interest”, 56 per cent of those questioned opted for the first description and 38 per cent for the second” -- suggesting that the foundations of the coalition are not as sound as they are sometimes claimed to be. But, even so, the big puzzle is how Labour can attract as much support as the Conservatives at a time that it is leaderless, virtually invisible and lacking any recognisable policy.

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