Derek Simpson backs moderate to lead Unite
Leaked emails over Mike Hancock scandal
David Miliband tipped for top EU job
87% of MPs raking it in with second jobs
David Cameron exclusive interview
"Red Ed" negotiates a minefield
"Red" Ed's knife-edge win
Don't strike over cuts, says union boss
Harman blocks Gordon Brown's farewell honours
Child benefit for older kids faces axe
Ed Miliband edges ahead of bruv in Labour leadership race
Tories' 4-seat majority in ICM marginal poll


DAVID Cameron is on course to become the next Prime Minister - with a knife edge majority of just four, the News of the World can reveal.

The Tory leader has pushed ahead as Labour voters desert Gordon Brown for the Lib Dems.

Our exclusive ICM Marginals poll (click for the full tables) reveals Cameron is on course to win 311 seats - a massive gain of 113 from the last election.

That means Cameron, with the support of the Unionist parties in Northern Ireland, will have a majority of four and will be able to go and see the Queen and ask her permission to form a government.

Today’s poll shows both parties are tied at 35 per cent in the 96 seats being fought over by Labour and the Tories. The Lib Dems are at 22 per cent.

But it shows the recent surge in support for the Liberal Democrats has seriously damaged the Labour Party’s chances, and given the Conservatives a vital lead across the country.

Ben Labour are down 2 per cent since we last polled at the end of the first week of the Election campaign, and the Tories are down 1 per cent, with the Lib Dems up three per cent.

But that tiny change means Labour have lost 19 seats in 3 weeks, while the Tories have gained 3 and the Lib Dems 17.

Based on a uniform swing across the country, Labour will avoid becoming the third party, but are likely to suffer further losses because both the Tories and Lib Dems have mounted last minute raids on previously safe Labour seats in the last week of the campaign.

Today’s poll also shows a seven per cent swing from Labour to the Lib Dems.

When asked what they wanted to see on Friday morning, the largest proportion of voters (34 per cent) said they want to see a Tory majority, up from 27 per cent.

And the number favouring a hung parliament has dropped from 39 per cent to 31 per cent. A Labour win is now backed by little more than one in five (22 per cent down from 26 per cent).

An overwhelming majority now say it’s time for change (69 per cent).

Martin Boon, ICM’s head of Government Research, told the News of the World: “This represents a 7% swing across these seats from Labour to the Tories.

“The equivalent swing in our latest national poll is 5.5% so the Tories are doing better in the key marginals than they are elsewhere.

“It remains lower than the 8% swing we saw back in January. But the swing is enough.”

That means Nick Clegg will take some seats that the Tories would hope to have otherwise gained. These would include Derby North, Hampstead & Kilburn and Stirling.

Today’s poll shows the television debates HAVE changed the way 17 per cent of votes will go, with a third of Lib Dem supporters saying they were won over by Nick Clegg’s performance.

As the most thrilling Election campaign for 13 years nears its end, last minute shocks may also produce dramatic changes.

Only half (51 per cent) of voters in these seats are certain who they will vote for, and 21 per cent are yet to make up their mind.

Almost a third (28 per cent) of voters say they would vote tactically.

The two main parties are neck and neck on the key policy battles of economic management and jobs and prosperity.

Gordon Brown edges it on taxation and public services, widening the gap on traditional core Labour areas of education and the NHS.

On immigration, the Tories have a solid lead with Labour beaten into last place despite Clegg's supposed weakness on the issue exposed in this week's debate.

David Cameron's trump card has always been himself; he is liked more than his party is in general.

He is viewed as potentially the best PM of the three, 6-points ahead of Clegg with Brown trailing another 4-points behind.

* ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 28-29th March 2010. Interviews were conducted across the 96 political constituencies which are currently held by Labour where the Conservatives require a swing of between 4% and 10% to win the seat. The results have been weighted to the profile of all adults living in these constituencies. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


Labour losses to the Conservatives:


Brigg & Goole
Rossendale & Darwen
Dudley South
Northampton North
Westminster North
Edinburgh South
Blackpool North & Cleveleys
Wirral South
Leicestershire NW
Bolton West
Ochil & South Perthshire
Halesowen & Rowley Regis
Bolton NE
Plymouth Sutton & Devonport
Warrington South

Dudley North
Elmet & Rothwell
Poplar & Limehouse
Reading West
Morecambe & Lunsdale
Chatham & Alyesford
Lancaster & Fleetwood
Barrow in Furness
Weaver Vale
Warwick & Leamington Spa

Stockton South
Sefton Central


Labour losses to Lib Dems: 

Derby North, Hampstead & KilburnStirling.



    Keeping one eye on the rest of the web
  Westminster blog spy