It’s been a long time coming and much anticipated, but the moment has finally arrived. The Conservatives’ monthly poll average has moved ahead of Labour for the first time since the start of 2012:
So far in March the Tories have averaged 33.1% while Labour is on 32.9%. A 0.2-point difference is almost as tiny as it’s possible to get and well within the margin of error, but this is as much about symbolism as anything else. After months of very little movement for either party, the Tories have suddenly floated upwards to their highest poll rating since August 2014.
But the change is not just down to a lift in the Conservatives’ fortunes. Labour has also drifted downwards, with 32.9% being its lowest monthly rating since 2010.
Not that any of this means anything consequential as regards the election result. When it comes to interpreting the nationwide polls, the same rule still applies: don’t extrapolate anything from these figures by way of a prediction of what will happen on 7 May.
Yet the crossover will count for a lot among the morale of Tory and Labour party members. It also gives the media a new narrative with which to frame both the closing days of this parliament and the build-up to the start of the official campaign on 30 March.