I have recently tweeted about the real polling situation, as there have been polls all over the place and all sorts of unrealistic conclusions being drawn (I'd say assumed in some cases) from them. I said that the trend was ever downward and was now around four and a half percent.
Just in case there were any doubt, here's a graph of the Labour lead percentage from all the polls from the last twelve months. This came to me indirectly, so I do not know who kindly put all this (admittedly public) data together...
Probably the most interesting part of the chart is the trend line, which shows that just a year ago that lead was ten and a half percent. It is indeed now effectively around four and a half points – less than half what it was just twelve months back – and the underlying trend has been consistently downward.
My own expectation, however, is that the rate of decline will slow during this year and perhaps a little beyond, but I am still expecting a Conservative lead of around three or four percent by election day in May next year. Actual voting will, I strongly suspect, result in a modest Conservative overall majority of around ten to fourteen seats, unless something very strange and completely unexpected occurs in the meantime.
Essentially, all the pieces are already in place, and it's mostly day-to-day and detail stuff that will fill the next fifteen months. Thus I am now sufficiently confident to make this prediction public now (I have known it for a little while) and it will be interesting to find out in May 2015 whether I am anywhere near right.