The overnight polls did not make happy reading for those heading to Blackpool this weekend. Populus showed a 10 point Labour lead, while YouGov, for the second poll in a row, showed an eleven point lead. A few points...
* Labour's lead is gained from LibDem voters who are returning to Labour
* The Conservative vote is consistent at 32-34% but shows no sign of rising
* Parties usually get high ratings after their conferences
But that's the only comfort that can be drawn. The Brown-Cameron comparisons in the YouGov poll do not flatter the Tory leader and this week must be used to narrow that gap. The most interesting point from the YouGov survey was that 58% of people think Labour would win an election now, but might not if Brown delays calling it. That's a crucial finding.
There was positive coverage in the Mail this morning for a £2,000 tax break for families, and a hint that George Osborne will announce plng term plans to abolish inheritance tax. Let's hope there are a few more policies like these, which will appeal to a whole swathe of people in the centre and on the right.
The consensus seems to be that Brown will call an election on October 8th, the first day Parliament returns, with November 1st or November 8th being the two probabilities.
I also understand Gordon Brown has a good stunt planned to impinge on the Tory conference. Now there's a surprise.