A new ICM survey for The Guardian shows a slightly reduced Tory lead. The overall Conservative lead in ConservativeHome's poll of polls (with volatile MORI now excluded from the calculation) is now 6.25%.
The better news for the Tories is that the lead suggested by ICM grows from 5% to 8% if Gordon Brown takes the helm. ConservativeHome believes that any of these questions need to be treated with a large pinch of salt. How the public will react to a Brown leadership depends upon the nature of the Labour leadership election... upon the ways in which Blair blesses his successor or Blairites undermine him... on the extent to which Gordon Brown dominates the news agenda... on the announcements that Brown makes as he enters Downing Street... These are all massive factors that could see the current Tory advantage evaporate or increase. The 3% difference found by ICM in this month's survey is almost meaningless. My guess is that Brown will never be as politically potent as Blair was at his best but if he projects an image of toughness on the economy and security the Chancellor may still be formidable.