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Despite Hackgate, Cameron still seen as best party leader

By Tim Montgomerie
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Last night Matthew Barrett reported how the headline opinion polls had remained flat during the Hackgate media storm. There had, he concluded, been no seismic shift in public opinion.

Labour supporters are keen to point out, however, that Ed Miliband's ratings have improved and the table above confirms that.

I'm not, however, excited by these numbers:
  • First, Cameron's ratings are holding up reasonably well.
  • Second, Ed Miliband had come from a very low base. Let's see where Ed Miliband's ratings settle when the focus is back on the economy.
  • Third, as I Twittered last night I can't fundamentally see the Labour leader as Prime Minister. It's a gut thing. I don't think voters will either.

None of this means there is any room for complacency. Miliband is certainly keeping up the pace - calling today for the break up of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire. My hunch is that while this will consolidate his support among Labour voters it won't transform his standing with the public. They want to know if Labour politicians have a plan to restore economic well-being and there's no sign that they do.

Cameron certainly needs to overhaul his Downing Street operation and needs to ensure his premiership is defined by his response to the economic crisis - a crisis likely to get much worse quite quicky. A collapse in the €urozone is his and George Osborne's opportunity to pass a range of pro-growth measures that might not get past the Liberal Democrats in normal circumstances.

> YouGov tables from a fortnight ago and from today.


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