The Tories are ahead in a national opinion poll for the first time since 2012. The first Lord Ashcroft/Conservative Home poll has the Tories ahead by two points, on 34 to Labour’s 32. The Lib Dems are on 9 and Ukip 15.
One swallow doesn’t a summer make. But this poll will have a psychological impact at Westminster. It will make it that much easier for the Tory leadership to persuade its MPs to stay calm in the face of a bad European Election result and will add to worries on the Labour side that the party is in trouble. Worryingly for Labour, Miliband’s rating among swing voters is particularly low.
There will be those who’ll dismiss this as a ‘Tory poll’. But Ashcroft’s polling has not been kind to the Tories in the past.