After last week's Populus poll giving the Tories a slim 1% lead CCHQ will be relieved to read this morning's Guardian and its news of an 8% Tory lead. The Tory lead in the ConservativeHome poll of polls is unchanged at just 3%, however. That's because this ICM poll for the Guardian replaces an ICM poll for the News of the World (which recorded the same Tory lead). PoliticalBetting.com - which puts a lot of faith in ICM (despite its relatively small and phone-based samples) - believes that this poll puts the Tories "in majority government territory." The up and down numbers in the graphic above reflect changes against the NotW/ ICM poll and not the last Guardian/ ICM poll.
There are other encouraging findings within the ICM numbers according to The Guardian's Julian Glover:
"Only 12% of voters now think that the Conservatives will never win again, compared to 37% who think the party will win the next general election. When ICM last asked the question in July 2002, only 19% of voters thought the Tories would win next time. Crucially, Conservative voters are now enthusiastic about their party's chances, with 67% saying they believe that Mr Cameron is on course for victory. That may encourage them to turn out and vote. By contrast, 29% of Labour supporters think that their party will lose to the Conservatives."
Mr Glover also attempts to pour cold water on fears that Tory voters might defect to UKIP. He notes that only 14% of Tory supporters said that they might back UKIP. That does not seem an insignificant number to ConservativeHome. Only a much smaller proportion of defections could frustrate the party's ambitions for a majority.