Last night YouGov gave Labour a fourteen point (!) poll lead over the Tories (45/31) – the largest lead for Labour with the firm since it was founded ten years ago. If replicated in a general election, it would give a marginally better result than the 1997 landslide.
But let’s get real – this is a one off poll.
But a word of caution is needed – back in 2008 the Tories once held a 26 point lead over Labour with YouGov. And as we all know they didn’t even win the subsequent election.
But there are two clear positives to consider here. Firstly, the media (even the hostile Murdoch-owned Sun) are spinning this poll lead as an Ed Miliband lead – suggesting Miliband’s leadership is not the polling weakness it once was.
Secondly (and more importantly) is that Labour has – for the first time since the election – taken a lead on being most trusted to handle the economy. Whilst the party still has a huge distance to travel to regain economic credibility, the Tories appear to be losing theirs remarkably quickly – as recently as January the Tories held a 12 point advantage over Labour in this regard.
Labour is also ahead on the crucial indicators around taxation and unemployment too – the abolition of the 50p rate couple with a failure to create jobs has really hurt the Tories.
That’s what we should really be focussing on from this poll. Three years from a likely election, we’re still miles away from forming the next government. The champagne isn’t on ice. In fact, it hasn’t even been bought from booze busters yet…