Recent opinion polls have showed a lowering of the Tory lead to around 7 per cent. As everyone is increasingly aware, the current election system benefits Labour, which means that at 7% ahead, the Tories can only expect a roughly 3 seat lead over Labour - no majority, certainly, and possibly not enough to form any sort of government if Nick Clegg's Liberals side with Labour. At just 5% ahead, the Tories would see Labour emerge as the largest party in terms of seats. So it looks rather gloomy for the Tories. However, seasoned psephologist (poll watcher!) Peter Kellner - who heads up the YouGov polling organisation - has produced a slightly more optimistic forecast for the Conservative Party, based upon the variability factor in marginal seats.
Even if Kellner is right, however, and a 7% lead could bring the Tories a more meaningful 10/11 seat lead, the question must still be raging around Conservative Headquarters. At a time of severe economic recession, with all sorts of brickbats raging around an unloved prime minister, what do they really have to do to get elected with a majority?