Cam’s Tories in the driving seat, says poll

Brown made the speech of his life, writes Steve Dinneen. But is it enough?

GORDON Brown tried to banish the memories of “Bigotgate” yesterday as he delivered an impassioned speech at Westminster.

He was emotional and decisive as he related a story about a family barely surviving on low wages. He told the CitizensUK action group that Labour is the party that will tackle poverty – sentiments echoed by campaign coordinator Douglas Alexander who vowed they will call the Tories to task over plans to slash child tax credits.

However, despite the belatedly gung-ho performance, it looks like it may have come too late, as the polls continued their slide back towards David Cameron’s Tories.

An IPSOS-Mori poll conducted in 57 Labour-held marginal seats found that the two parties are now neck and neck – a result that would give Cameron a two seat majority, assuming he successfully defends a number of swing seats from a Lib Dem assault.

If the votes do go his way, Cameron believes he will have a six month window of public goodwill to lay out his strict spending cuts.

He also indicated he will snub any deal with the Lib Dems and lead a minority government if his party fails to gain an outright majority.

The comments caused Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to accuse Cameron of “breathtaking arrogance” for “measuring up the curtains” at Downing Street before the public have voted.

Brown’s “bigot” comments may have spurred him into action but his embattled party will need to pull out something special in the final days of the campaign to bridge the widening gap.