I had expected Labour's opinion poll ratings to rise as we got closer to the election. Indeed, from the lows of last year there had been a general recovery in the Labour poll position. The Conservative lead had been narrowing since the start of the year.
But recently, Labour has slipped below 30%, a rating that puts them around where they were in the 1983 general election. It is not just the events of the past week that have delivered such a poor position for Labour. The drift downwards predates the row over big business backing for the Conservatives' plans not to tax big business on National Insurance.
Labour below 30% represents a meltdown in their vote. With a degree of tactical voting added in to the mix, Labour could be facing a loss of over 150 seats. The question is, will this happen in the election?
I suspect Labour's poll ratings are higher than the opinion polls show. Like the Tories in the later 90s, people are less inclined to admit to their embarrassing little secret of being a Labour supporter. And just as the polls over stated Labour's support in the 1990s, they may be doing the same with the Conservatives now.
Nevertheless, polls taken together can reveal trends. And the trend at the moment is one of sinking Labour support with the Tories staying level.
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