The Liberal Democrat leader is forcing the Tories to change their strategy in the final weeks of the campaign:
TORY leader David Cameron has shelved a party political broadcast attacking Labour in favour of one that “responds to the public mood”.
The video scheduled to be aired this evening has been replaced with a “personal statement” from the Tory leader in which he details his values and qualities.
The tactical change was made as the scale of the Lib Dem “bounce” after the first prime ministerial debate became clear.
The last-minute move is evidence of the depth of concern among senior Conservatives over the impact of Nick Clegg’s much-praised performance.
According to a Guardian/ICM poll released today, the Lib Dems have surged 10 points in recent days, and forced Labour into third place for the first time ever in the poll’s history, which began in 1984:
The extraordinary surge in support for the Liberal Democrats continued to gather pace today as a Guardian/ICM poll put the party in second place on 30%, up ten points in a week.
The findings – which follow a dramatic series of weekend polls including an ICM survey only partly carried out after last Thursday’s televised leaders’ debate – suggest Britain is on course for a hung parliament.
Since the last Guardian/ICM survey a week ago, Labour support has sunk by three points and Conservative support by four points.
All the fieldwork for the poll was carried out after the leaders’ debate.
The Conservatives are on 33%, the score achieved under Michael Howard in the 2005 election and the party’s lowest in any ICM poll since July 2007. Labour, on 28%, is at its lowest since last October.