Lord Peter Mandelson told the Retail Week conference:
There will almost certainly be a stalemate hung Parliament in two months' time.
Given the state of the polls, Mandelson's observation is right in line with the predictions of many political observers. However, it's interesting to note that the master of spin is unwilling to say Labour is on course for a clear-cut victory.
Tory party chairman Grant Shapps responded to the comments:
Lord Mandelson is confirming what we now all know - the only way Miliband will get into Downing Street is if he's carried there in Alex Salmond's pocket.
That would mean more borrowing, higher taxes and weaker defences. Hardworking taxpayers would pay the price for the resulting economic chaos and a weak leader who simply isn't up to the job of being prime minister.
In another blow to Ed Miliband, Mandelson appears to be taking the Conservatives' side in the seemingly endless debates about the TV debates. ITV's Joanna Partridge reports the Labour peer has said the broadcasters should not "empty chair" David Cameron if he refuses to take part in the debates.
Mandelson:TV channels shouldn't "empty chair" David Cameron if doesn't take part in TV leaders' debates. "They're only broadcasters" #RWL15— Joanna Partridge (@JoannaPartridge) March 11, 2015
The Tories have led in three out of four polls this week, causing some commentators to speculate whether this is beginning of the "crossover" point, where the Conservatives begin to consistently out-poll Labour and build momentum.
Election strategists had hoped the polls would turn, but the parties have been roughly neck and neck for the past several months.
The Guardian's seat projection puts the Tories on 279 seats and on Labour 266. Election Forecast, on the other hand, gives the David Cameron 293 seats and Ed Miliband 271.